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Biography of John Bunyan Adams

John Bunyan Adams was born in Butler County, Kansas. That county had been his home all his life, and beginning there as a country school teacher and subsequently entering banking, he had achieved a reputation built up on constructive service that had made him widely known over the state as a legislator, banker and financier. He is a former president of the State Bankers’ Association, and for years had been a recognized leader in his part of the state in the republican party. His birth occurred on March 25, 1873, on his father’s farm near Potwin in Butler County. He is a son of Amos and Nancy M. (Cain) Adams. He traces his ancestry back in the paternal line to Joshua Adams, who came from England in 1660 and settled at Braintree, Massachusetts. In the successive generations there have been soldiers in every war, beginning with the French and Indian, and through the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and the family had also been represented worthily in the industries, professions and business affairs and as pioneers in the making of new commonwealths in Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Illinois and Kansas. Mr. Adams’ grandfather, William Adams, was born at Hagerstown, Maryland, 1801, and about 1840 he settled among the pioneers in Fulton County, Illinois. He was a substantial farmer, and a man of wide influence in his community. His brother Joseph Adams came to Kansas in 1859, locating on the Whitewater River three miles north of Potwin in Butler County, and was a pioneer among pioneers in that section. Amos Adams, father of John B., was born at Vermont in Fulton County,...

Biography of Frederick E. Dillenbeck, M. D.

Frederick E. Dillenbeck, M. D.,of El Dorado, had attained as much prominence in the fleld of medicine and surgery as others of his fantily have gained in the breeding and raising of some of the finest trotting horses known in Kansas or anywhere in the country. Doctor Dilleubeck, who had practiced medicine at El Dorado for twenty years, is local and dispensing surgeou for the Missouri Pacific and the Santa. Fe Railway companies, is consulting surgeon for the Rock Island Railroad Company, is medieal examiner for a number of old line life insurance companies, is a member of the County and State Medical societies, the American Medical Association, the Military Surgeous of the United States, the Clinical Congress of Surgeons of North America and the American Association of Railway Surgeous. He served two terms as coroner of Butler County, and had been county and city physician for several terms. He is not only a capable and painstaking physician with years of succossful practice to his credit, but is a genial and courteous gentleman whose kindly manners have won for him a host of friends in this section of Kansas. Doctor Dillenbeek was born near Gouverneur in St. Lawrence County, New York, April 4, 1867. He is a son of Charles B. and Helen (Visscher) Dillenbeck, Charles B. Dillenbeek is known fan and wide as proprietor of the “City Dairy Farm” at El Dorado, and is one of Kansas men who have gained a national reputation as breeders of staudard trotting horses. Charles B. Dillenbeck was born in Jefferson County, New York, in 1842, a son of Jacob and Catherine...

Biography of John Gardner Shelden

John Gardner Shelden, of El Dorado, had made himself a man of success and influential leadership in spite of handicaps and obvious disadvantages. In his early life he was a farmer and school teacher, lost a leg in the railroad service, continued to fight the good fight regardless of physical conditions and in recent years had become one of the leading oil and gas operators in this section of the state. There are many sound reasons why the name Shelden rings honorable and true in Butler County. It is good sound Ameriean stock, of the pioneer type. The story of the trials and sufferings of Mr. Shelden’s mother is one that can not be too often repeated. Another son of the family was the late Alvah Shelden, who came to rank as one of Kansas’ foremost newspaper men in ability and influence and the results of whose career will always be impressed upon Butler County’s history. The life of John Gardner Shelden began with his birth at Helena in one of the southern counties of Texas, May 27, 1858. His parents were Benjamin and Louisa (Vaught) Shelden. His father was of Pennsylvania-Dutch descent. He was a man of Union sentiments in a district of slave holders, and because of his independence of views he was shot and killed in his own dooryard by a Southern sympathizer. That tragedy came to the family when John G. Shelden was about a year old. The mother, Louisa Vaught, was born in Muhlenburg County, Kentucky, November 13, 1820, of Holland Dutch descent. She died in 1908, at the home of her daughter, Mrs....

Biography of John D. Burton

John D. Burton. Like many of his contemporaries in the field of journalism in Southeastern Kansas, John D. Burton, proprietor and editor of the Potwin Ledger, began his career at the case. His entire life had been devoted to newspaper work, as compositor, editor and owner of publications in various parts of the country, but principally in Kansas, where he had resided and labored since the fall of 1878. While his present publication was founded only recently, it had already gained a wide circulation and promises to become an organ of influence in public matters under Mr. Burton’s wise and experienced direction. John D. Burton was born at Springfield, Illinois, July 1, 1857, and is a son of David A. and Elizabeth (Tarr) Burton. He comes of a family which, originating in England, was founded in North Carolina by three brothers, William, Thomas and Allen Burton, the last named of whom, his great-grandfather, became a pioneer farmer of Indiana and died in the vicinity of Terre Haute. Allen H. Burton, son of the immigrant, and grandfather of John D. Burton, was born at Charlotte Court House, North Carolina, and was there reared, educated and married. Subsequently he went to Indiana, but later became a pioneer into Williamson County, Illinois, where he condueted a blacksmith shop until his death. He married Cynthia Boyle, a native of Ireland. David A. Burton, father of John D., was born in 1832, at Mount Vernon, Indiana, and was there reared. He received a fairly good education in the public schools and in his younger years was a teacher, subsequently becoming connected with newspaper work as an editorial writer. Throughout...

Biography of James Dodwell

James Dodwell. The career of James Dodwell, pioneer harnessmaker of Butler County and a well known resident of the county seat, El Dorado, is one considerably apart from the ordinary and of unusual interest. In its unfolding it had invaded various fields of endeavor and the occupations of war and peace, and through it Mr. Dodwell had worked out an admirable destiny and had established his right to be numbered among the self-made men who have attained success in spite of the most discouraging circumstances. James Dodwell was born in the City of New York, in 1845, and, having been left an orphan when an infant, was reared in the home of the Children’s Aid Society. In the fall of 1856 he was sent to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and placed in the home of Mrs. Caroline Hawley, where his lot was that too often experienced by orphaned children. Few, if any, kindnesses came his way, hardly any advantages, and no education, for he was not allowed to attend school with the other children. In fact he only attended school for three months in his entire life. Mr. Dodwell almost welcomed the outbreak of the Civil war, when he was about sixteen years of age, for it renewed his aspirations and awakened new hopes and gave him a chance to break away from his sordid surroundings. Enlisting in the army was considered quite an ordeal for most men and youths at that time, but young Dodwell hailed with delight an opportunity to escape from his unpleasant home and irksome duties, and to serve under duly organized and appreciative authority. Accordingly, in...

Biography of James A. Wilson

James A. Wilson.One of the richest oil land districts of Kansas is the territory lying in the vicinity of El Dorado, the county seat of Butler County. Among its citizens who have become prominent factors in oil production is James A. Wilson. All through this locality rich strikes have been made, and one of the best was on the land owned by Mr. Wilson, just 1 1/2 miles north of El Dorado. This copious pool was the third one developed and had become famous as the Derby-Wilson lease of 480 acres. Mr. Wilson had twenty-one producing oil wells on the land at present. Mr. Wilson came to Butler County in its pioneer days. He was ambitious and energetic, and long before the development of the oil fields had acquired interests that made him one of the chief cattle men and one of the largest land holders. James A. Wilson was born in Columbia County, Wisconsin, December 23, 1850, a son of Daniel and Mary J. (Wood) Wilson. He is descended from a titled family of England. His grandfather, the founder of this branch in America, was a second son. Not being in line for an inheritance from his father he sought a new field of opportunity in Canada and there spent the remaining years of his life, his death occurring in the City of Montreal. In that city in 1830 was born Daniel Wilson, father of James A. He was educated in public schools and reared in his native locality, where he married Mary J. Wood. Shortly after their marriage Daniel Wilson and wife became pioneers in Columbia County,...

Biographical Sketch of Curtis L. Harris

Curtis L. Harris has been a practicing attorney at El Dorado for the past thirty years and during that time had been identified with the business and political movements which have made Butler County prominent. Mr. Harris was reared near Alliance, Ohio. at which place he attended school and was graduated in 1883 from Mount Union Gollege. He began the study of law in the office of Hon. David Fording at Alliance, and was admitted to practice in Butler County, Kansas, in 1887, after completing the then usual course in the law office of Judge C. A. Leland, with whom he afterward formed the partnership which continued for eighteen years. In 1910 Mr. Harris was elected, on the republican ticket, to the State Senate from the Twenty-fifth District. Since the termination of his term of office he had given his entire attention to the practice of law. During his residence in El Dorado he had taken an active part in public affairs, serving as chairman of the County Republican Committee and as member of the City Council and School and Library boards. In 1885 Mr. Harris was married to Miss Mary L. Miller, of North Benton. Ohio. They have one daughter, now Mrs. Frank W. Robison, of Towanda, Kansas. Mr. Harris’ success had been that which comes from adhering to ideals, close attention to business and hard...

Biography of Joseph L. Eyman, Dr.

Joseph L. Eyman, M. D. In the profession of medicine and surgery few Kansas physicians have dispensed their services more widely and more successfully than Dr. Joseph L. Eyman of El Dorado, He is a most loyal Kansan. Coming to the state when a child with his parents, he began the practice of his profession twenty-one years later and had witnessed the gradual change and transformation which have made Kansas a highly developed agrienltural and industrial section from what was within his personal recollection an open prairie. Doctor Eyman had traveled over many of the states of the Union, and it is his ardent conviction that no state presents so many all around advantages as the Sunflower commonwealth. It is with more than ordinary satisfaction that he contemplates the prospect of spending the rest of his days in Kansas. Doctor Eyman had built a fine modern brick residence and office at the corner of Fourth and Gordy Streets in the heart of El Dorado. His home is attractive from every point of view and a triumph architecturally. A native of Pennsylvania, Joseph L. Eyman was born at Kittanning in Armstrong County February 23, 1860, a son of J. W. and Rebeca (Richie) Eyman. His parents were natives of Pennsylvania, his father of Pittsburg and his mother of Templeton, Armstrong County. The Eyman family was founded in America prior to the Revolutionary war by three German brothers, Abram, Isaac and Jacob. Abram loeated at Wellsville, Ohio, Jacob at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, while Isaac was a typical frontiersman, never content to settle long in one community and always living well in advance...

Biography of Miller M. Van Denberg

Miller M. Van Denberg. One of El Dorado’s oldest business men and citizens is Miller M. Van Denberg, who had lived in that community for thirty-nine years. The name is most prominently associated with the lumber business. In that connection it is known not only in El Dorado but in many other towns of Kansas and Oklahoma. Mr. Van Denberg had owned at different times as many as twenty-three lumber yards in these two states. However, his home had always been at El Dorado. Perhaps the chief fruit of his many years of business effort had been the opportunity presented to follow the voeation of his original choice, farming. Mr. Van Denberg does not follow farming as a fad, but on a fairly practical basis. However, the cultivation of the soil is to him a keen pleasure. He was reared on a farm and throughout his business career had always retained his love for the open spaces made beautiful by the fruition of nature. Though the better part of his life had been spent in Kansas, Mr. Van Denberg was born in Albany County, New York, September 24, 1852. He is of good old Dutch stock, and the Van Denbergs were settlers in the Province of New York prior to the Revolutionary war. His father, G. P. Van Denberg, was also born in Albany County, New York, and in 1861 removed to Wisconsin and from there came to the State of Kansas in 1871. He was a farmer. The mother, Diana (Miller) Van Denberg, was born in Albany County, New York, and is now deceased. Miller M. Van Denberg was nine...

Biography of Glen E. Kiser

Glen E. Kiser is a member of an old and substantial family of Butler County, and on assuming the responsibilities of manhood he himself took up newspaper work, and experience had developed many exceptional qualifications in that profession. He is now editor and proprietor of the Augusta Gazette. Mr. Kiser was born in Leon, Kansas, April 11, 1891, was educated in the public schools at El Dorado and graduated from high school in 1909. After one year in the University of Kansas he joined the staff of the El Dorado Times and had a great variety of newspaper experience for the next three years. In 1914 he went out to Colorado, continued there in newspaper work for a year, and on returning to Kansas he was connected with the Wichita Beacon one year. Mr. Kiser in January, 1907, bought the Augusta Gazette and is now both its editor and proprietor. The Augusta Gazette was established as a daily paper in 1902, but for a number of years before that had been published as a weekly issue. It is a republican paper and had a large circulation and influence throughout Butler and surrounding counties. The office and plant are well equipped and the paper is growing rapidly in proportion as Augusta is becoming more and more an important center in the oil and gas region of Southern Kansas. Mr. Glen Kiser is a republican, is a member of the Christian Church, and is affiliated with Patmos Lodge No, 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at El Dorado. On January 1, 1916, at Douglass, Kansas, he married Miss Jennie Satterthwaite. Mrs....
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