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Biography of William A. Harris, Gen.

Gen. William A. Harris was a brave officer of the Confederacy, a pioneer railroad engineer, a successful and leading stock raiser of improved breeds and, both in state and national bodies (including the Congress of the United States), an untiring and effective promoter of agricultural interests. Born in Loudoun County, Virginia, October 29, 1841, as a boy he was educated in his native state and at Buenos Aires, Argentina, whither his father had been sent as United States minister. In June, 1859, he graduated from Columbia College, Washington, District of Columbia. Immediately afterward he went to Central America and spent six months on a ship canal survey, but returned home and entered the Virginia Military Institute in January, 1860. He was in the graduating class of 1861, but in April of that year he and his classmates entered the Confederate service. He served three years as assistant adjutant-general of Wilcox’s brigade and as ordnance officer of Gens. D. H. Hill’s and Rhodes’ divisions of the Army of Northern Virginia. In 1865 he came to Kansas and entered the employ of the Union Pacific railroad as civil engineer. The road was then completed to Lawrence, and his first work was to build the Leavenworth branch, which he completed in 1866. Mr. Harris was resident engineer of the road until it was completed to Carson in the fall of 1868, when he accepted the agency for the sale of the Delaware reservation and other lands, in connection with farming and stock raising. In 1876 he became interested in short-horn cattle and in a short time his herds were known throughout the...

Biographical Sketch of E.J. Evans

E. J. Evans, commercial traveler for Weel, Connell & Riddle, dry goods, shoes, clothing, etc., Nashville, was born in 1850 in the District of Columbia, and now resident of Smithville. He is the son of John G. and Lucinda (Vick) Evans. The father, born in 1819, in Dekalb County, Tenn., is the son of Joseph Evans, a native of Maryland, who, when a boy, came to Tennessee and settled where Liberty, Dekalb County, is located, among the very earliest white settlers. John G. had learned the carpenter trade under his father, and after his marriage in 1844, he settled in Liberty. In 1861 he moved to Dry Creek, and in 1881 to Smithville, where he was elected to his present position of register in 1866. His wife, born in 1822, in Dekalb County, is still living. Our subject, educated in Liberty, began reading law in 1872 under Hon. J. B. Robinson, and was admitted in 1873. The following year he was elected county clerk of Dekalb County, and served one term. In 1879 he established a dry goods store in Smithville, and after two years sold out and became traveling salesman for Settle & Kinnard, and two years later for Pigg, Manier & Co., then twelve months after for Tracy & Co., with whom he remained until he was employed by his present firm. In August 1875, he married Virginia, daughter of Watson and Sarah Webb, and born in Warren County. Their children are Sherrell J., Herschel, and Sarah. Mr. Evans has two residences, three store buildings and a livery stable in Smithville. He is a fine salesman and...

Biography of F. Dumont Smith, F. Hon.

Hon. F. Dumont Smith. During his thirty years of membership in the Kansas bar, F. Dumont Smith has attained such distinction as to make him a well known figure in the life and activities of the state. Noted as an exceptionally well trained lawyer, he has also been prominent as a public speaker, editor and writer and has wielded an influence proportionate to his versatile abilities. For many years his home was in Kinsley, but he is now at Hutchinson. He is a man of fortunate endowment and of fine American ancestry. He was born on a farm near Kewanee, Illinois, January 31, 1861, a son of Samuel M. and Elizabeth (Rose) Anderson Smith. His first American ancestor was Nathaniel Smith who came from Yorkshire, England, in 1640, and settled in the valley of the Connecticut near New London. The maternal grandfather Samuel Bowles Anderson, a native of Vermont, was the first surveyor-general of Michigan. He married Maria Willard, who was descended from Major Josiah Willard, who came from Bristol, England, and established the Willard family in America in 1631. Samuel M. Smith, father of the Hutchinson lawyer, was born in Connecticut, while his wife was a native of New York. They were married in Michigan, moved from there to Illinois, and about 1877 settled in the State of Virginia in the valley of the Potomac below Mount Vernon. In 1884 they established their home at Washington, District of Columbia, and in 1888 went south to Florida, where Samuel M. Smith died in 1892. His widow passed away at the home of her son in Kansas in 1890. Samuel...

Biography of James Lotan

James Lotan was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1843, and is of Irish descent, his father John Lotan, having been born in Ireland and emigrated to America in 1840. Until his twelfth year young Lotan attended the public schools of his native city. He then became an apprentice to the machinist trade in his uncle’s shop. After acquiring a full knowledge of his trade he went to Jacksonville, Florida, where with an elder brother he was employed until the war of the Rebellion began, when he returned home, and a few months thereafter, in May 1861, enlisted for two years in Company C, Ninth New York Volunteer Regiment, commanded by Col. Rush C. Hawkins. This regiment was first stationed at Fort Monroe and from there proceeded to Newport News, where it took part in a fight at Great Bethel, which resulted in one of the first victories for the Union army. It left Newport News, with Gen. Butler’s expedition and at Fort Hatteras joined Gen. Burnside’s command, proceeding with this division of the army up Pamlico Sound to Newbern, N. C., where it fought a battle. From this point it proceeded back to Roanoke Island and from there to Newbern, participating in the battle of South Mills and in numerous skirmishes along the line of March. From Newbern the regiment proceeded through the Dismal Swamps to Norfolk, Virginia, and from there by way of Newport News to Aquila Creek where it joined the Army of the Potomac, and formed a part of Burn-side’s division during the terrible slaughter of Union men at the battles of Fredericksburg, Antietam and...

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