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Biography of Henry R. Ransom

The Pittsburg Sash & Door Company. One of the very considerable industries of the City of Pittsburg is The Pittsburg Sash & Door Company, which like many successful concerns had a very modest heginning but is now contributing a great deal of wealth to the city and is furnishing support to many families whose members find employment there. This business was originally started as a bay press by L. N. Mosteller, now a retired business man of Pittsburg. In October, 1902, Henry R. Ransom arrived in Pittsburg and bought what was then known as the Pittsburg Planing Mill, situated at Fourth and Grand Avenue. Since then the business has been under the direction of the Ransom family, and during the past year its business has been so voluminous that its payroll amounts to $15,000. It has prospered and expanded continuously during the fifteen years since Henry R. Ransom took charge of the industry. The Ransoms were a colonial English family that settled first in Virginia. Later they lived in New York State. S. S. Ransom was born at Perrysburg, New York, and is still living now retired at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was reared and married in Perrysburg, New York, and was for many years a traveling salesman. S. S. Ransom married Jennie Strickland, who was born in Ellinsville, Warren County, Pennsylvania. Henry R. Ransom, head of The Pittsburg Sash & Door Company, is the only child of the above parents. He was born at Perrysburg in Cattaraugus County, New York, March 27, 1870. He received his early education in the public schools of Warren County, Pennsylvania, but at the...

Biography of Charles S. Denison

Charles S. Denison. The ordinary, every-day man, engrossed in the business avocation which brings his daily bread, is representative of the nation’s citizenship. This is the normal type, and his life begins and ends, perhaps, with nothing more distinctive than is the ripple on the face of the stream when the pebble is thrown into the water. It is the unusual type that commands attention and it is his influence exerted on his community, and the record of his life, that is valuable and interesting as a matter of biography. In the professions, and especially in the law, the opportunities for usefulness and personal advancement depend almost entirely upon this unusually gifted individual, and here natural endowment is as essential as is thorough preparation. The bar of Crawford County is a representative body of Kansas and as such has its full quota of brilliant men, included among whom may be mentioned Charles S. Denison, why by inheritance, education, predilection and thorough training, is fitted to take his place among the leading members of his calling. Charles S. Denison, who has been practicing at the bar of Pittsburg since 1909, was born at the Osage Mission, Saint Paul, Kansas, August 28, 1878, and is of Scotch and German descent, the Denisons having come from Scotland to Pennsylvania prior to the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, David Denison, was born in the Keystons State, where he was a millwright, and later in life also followed that vocation in Illinois, where his death occurred at Sterling, in 1887. The father of Charles S. Denison, J. L. Denison, was born in 1837, in Westmoreland...

Biography of Samuel Brownlee Fisher

Samuel Brownlee Fisher of Parsons, consulting engineer of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company, is one of the eminent railway engineers of America. He had had nearly fifty years of active experience and had been identified with the construction of various railway lines in the West and East. He comes of an old Scotch family of Covenanter stock. On the maternal side his ancestors were the Brownlees, who were Covenanters in Scotland and were exiled because of their religious belief and settled in Pennsylvania. Mr. Fisher’s great-great-grandfather in the maternal line, George Wilie, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and another member of this same family was Colonel Thompson, an aide to General Washington. Mr. Fisher’s maternal grandfather, Samuel Brownlee, was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1792, and spent all his life on a farm in that rugged district of Southwestern Pennsylvania, dying in 1855. He was an active abolitionist in the days before the Civil war and was a member of the Associate Branch of the Presbyterian Church. Samuel Brownlee married Ann Wilie, who was born and died at Washington, Pennsylvania. The father of Mr. Fisher was Rev. Jacob P. Fisher, who was born in Ohio in 1808, but was reared and married in Washington, Pennsylvania. He was a minister of that branch of Presbyterianism formerly known as the Associate Church. He was also actively identified with the abolition cause. His death occurred in Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1853. Rev. Mr. Fisher married Jane Thompson Brownlee, who was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1820. She died in 1888 while visiting in Montana, her home at that time...

Biography of E. O. Sloan, M. D.

E. O. Sloan, M. D. The attainment of success in life along any path of endeavor demands energy, honesty, conscientiousness, self-reliance and proper preparation. The presence of genius is also desirable, but for permanency the homely virtues and practical qualities are absolutely necessary. To the undoubted possession of these may be, in large part, attributed the success that had attended the efforts of Dr. E. O. Sloan, who had figured prominently in the medical profession of Crawford County for more than a quarter of a century, as a practitioner at Pittsburg and had maintained throughout his entire career a high standard of professional ethics and scientific principles. Dr. E. O. Sloan was born in Polk County, Missouri, February 25, 1855, and is a son of Dr. Absalom C. and Mary Jane (Hamilton) Sloan. He belongs to a family of Scotch-Irish origin which emigrated to America from Scotland and Ireland at an early day and located in Kentucky as pioneers during colonial times. In that state was born the grandfather of Doctor Sloan, Jeremiah Nelson Sloan, August 26, 1789. A farmer and stock raiser by vocation, in 1831 he moved to Polk County, Missouri, where he was elected the first county judge. He came to be a man of importance, substance and general worth in his community, and wielded a large influence for good among his fellow-citizens, who, recognizing his superior judgment and absolute integrity, relied upon him in matters of public import. In 1846, he met a sudden death by being thrown from his horse. His wife, whom he married in Kentucky, was Mary Sloan, born in 1805, in...

Biography of George A. Gemmell, Prof.

Prof. George A. Gemmell. It is doubtful if there is any other profession which demands so much judgment, tact, specialized knowledge, patient and natural executive ability as that of the educator, and the individual selecting it as his calling must be prepared to make many personal sacrifices, to endure many disappointments, to often spend himself for others without apparent gratitude in return, and to give the best years of his life without the material emoluments that equal effort would surely bring in any other profession. It is a profession for which there is no established table of weights and measures, but it is one which affords the man who would serve the race an opportunity than which there are none greater. Of the educators of Kansas who are engaged in a good and helpful work, one who had not allowed himself to be tied down by old methods or ancient dogmas is Prof. George A. Gemmell, principal of the Crawford County High School, at Cherokee. Mr. Gemmell had made teaching his life work, and in going beyond prescribed limits had shown himself one who is an educator in the best sense and whose practical instruction will be of lasting benefit to those who come under his charge. George A. Gemmell was born July 29, 1882, in Crawford County, Kansas, and is a son of A. J. C. and Cora I. (Clay) Gemmell. His grandfather, Alexander Gemmell, was born near the City of Glasgow, Scotland, and in 1855, with his wife and eldest child, made the trip across the Atlantic to America, locating first for a short time in Canada,...

Biography of William Lanyon

William Lanyon. More than any other the name Lanyon is distinctive of the zinc industry in Southeastern Kansas, particularly at Pittsburg. The Lanyon family had been prominent in this particular industry for several generations. To a large degree the importance of Pittsburg as a zinc manufacturing center is due to the enterprise of the Lanyons who came to this part of Kansas more than thirty years ago from their original home in Southern Wisconsin, where they had operated extensive mining and manufacturing industries. Though he was one of the earliest of the family to take an active part in the zinc industry in Southeastern Kansas, Mr. William Lanyon gave up many of his interests in that field some years ago, and is now best known as a banker and leading citizen. He is vice president of the National Bank of Pittsburg and is now serving as mayor of the city. He was born at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, December 26, 1862. His father William Lanyon was a native of England, where he was born in 1830. Six years after his birth his parents came to the United States and finally settled in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. He grew up there, married, and was first engaged in the grain business. Coming to Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1882, he was a pioneer in the development of the coal fields and the operation of the zinc industry, and was closely associated with those phases of the city’s growth and development. However, he always kept his home at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where he died in June, 1908. He was a republican, a member of the Methodist...

Biography of Samuel Bowman

Samuel Bowman, now of Coffeyville, where he is engaged in the real estate, insurance and loan business with his sons, is a Kansas resident of nearly thirty-five years and was long prominent in Labette County, where he served two terms as probate judge. His Bowman ancestors were German people who came to Pennsylvania in Colonial times. His grandfather, Benjamin Bowman, a native of Pennsylvania, was a farmer and cabinet maker, also a minister of the Dunkard Church, and spent many years in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he died some years before Judge Bowman was born. It was in the valley of the Shenandoah, a mile from Harrisonburg, Virginia, that Samuel Bowman was born May 18, 1846. His father, John Bowman, was born in the same locality in 1790, and spent his life in that famous valley, engaged in farming and stock raising. He died at Harrisonburg in 1873. Though a resident of Virginia he was not in sympathy with the South on the issue of slavery, was a stanch Union man, and a whig and republican in politics. He was an active member of the Dunkard Church. John Bowman married Rebecca Wine, who was born in the Shenandoah Valley in 1802, and died on the old farm near Harrisonburg in 1872. A brief record of the children is as follows: Daniel, who was a Virginia farmer and died in that state; Catherine, who died in the Shenandoah Valley as the wife of Joseph Miller, also deceased. Elizabeth, who died in Virginia in 1915, and her husband Daniel Thomas, who was a farmer, is also deceased; John W....

Biography of Harry Degen

Harry Degen, deceased, was for more than a decade actively identified with mercantile interests in Bartlesville as the proprietor of a department store which is still being conducted by his widow and which is one of the best establishments of the kind in the city. He was born in Austria on the 11th of November, 1875, and when a lad of twelve years accompanied his parents on their emigration to the United States. He worked for his relatives in Kansas until twenty-seven years of age, when in association with his uncle he established the firm of Degen & Company for the conduct of a clothing store in Pittsburg, Kansas. The year 1910 witnessed his arrival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where he established the Degen dry goods store on the corner of Third and Dewey streets, conducting the enterprise successfully to the time of his demise on April 16, 1921. His honorable business dealings and earnest desire to please his patrons won him the confidence and support of the public to such a degree that he enjoyed a large and profitable trade. Since his death the establishment has been conducted by his widow, who has placed a manager in charge thereof. Twenty-five people are employed in the store, which carries a stock valued at about fifty thousand dollars. Mr. Degen erected a modern business block 6n Third street, between Osage and Dewey streets, and was widely recognized as one of the substantial and representative citizens of Bartlesville. On November 24, 1904, Mr. Degen was united in marriage to Miss Frances Jacoby and they became parents of three children, namely: Louis, who...

Biography of Claude B. Clements

Claude B. Clements. Among the men who have won success in the Mid-Continent oil fields, one whose prosperity and present position have been gained solely through hard, unremitting labor and specialized knowledge and ability in this vocation, is Claude B. Clements, of Peru, Kansas. A man of large personal interests, which demand steadfast and undeviating attention, he had managed to reserve a part of his time for public official duties, and at this time is mayor of Peru, an office in which he had gained a reputation that assures him of the confidence and respect of his fellow townsmen. Mr. Clements was born in Union County, Kentucky, January 27, 1871, being a son of B. J. and Alice (Williams) Clements, and a member of a family which originated in England and whose first American member came to this country during the colonial era and located in Virginia. B. J. Clements was born in 1848, in Union County, Kentucky, and resided there until 1879, when he became a pioneer farmer of Crawford County, Kansas, but in 1884 removed to Chautauqua County, where he engaged in farming until the close of his life. His death occurred at Niotaze, Kansas, November 17, 1885. Mr. Clements was content to devote himself to his agricultural interests, and never sought public position. He was an unassuming man, but energetic and resourceful in his work and had started upon the highroad to success when his early death closed his career. In politics he was a democrat. Mr. Clements married Miss Alice Williams, who was born in Union County, Kentucky, in 1853, and still survives her husband,...

Biography of William Taylor Williams

William Taylor Williams. More than a half century had passed since William T. Williams, one of Sedan’s foremost citizens, had his first glimpse of Kansas, of which state, for almost that long, he had been a continuous resident. The marvelous changes which have been wrought in the country through the civilizing industries of men of enterprise, are reflected in some degree, in the advancement of his own fortunes, but none of these developments have come without strenuous effort, persistent energy and never failing courage. This may well be given emphasis in view of the fact that charges have been made that in these luxury-loving days, too many American youth appear but too well satisfied with the advantages that have been provided by the manly endurance of an older generation. With leisure and love of case, they invite weakness instead of seeking strength that comes through courageous bearing of hardships and the stimulation of overcoming obstacles. William Taylor Williams, vice president of the First National Bank, Sedan, Kansas, was born in Hart County, Kentucky, May 22, 1848. His parents were Ansel and Mary (Gooch) Williams. His grandfather, David Williams, was born in Wythe County, Virginia, in 1801, and died in Grayson County, Kentucky, in 1850. His father was born in Wales and was the founder of the family in America. The grandmother was Jane Jackson, who was born in South Carolina and died in Marion County, Illinois. She was a daughter of a revolutionary soldier. Ansel Williams, father of William Taylor Williams, was born in 1824, in Green County, Kentucky, and died in 1868, in Crawford County, Kansas. He followed...
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