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Biography of Elisha H. Rollins

Elisha H. Rollins, partner of Mr. Ireland in the proprietorship of the Ireland & Rollins Planing Mills Company, and one of the progressive and energetic business men of Fort Scott, was born March 15, 1859, on Prince Edward Island, a son of John and Mary (Harker) Rollins, natives of that place, who passed their entire lives there in agricultural pursuits. The father died in 1909, at the age of seventy-five years, while the mother passed away many years before, being forty-seven years old at the time of her demise. The fourth in a family of nine children, Elisha H. Rollins received a public school education, and in his youth learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed at his native place until 1876. In that year he came to Kansas City, Missouri, where he followed his trade for three years, and then came to Fort Scott and continued at his trade as a journeyman until he joined Mr. Ireland in the planing mill business. Like his partner, Mr. Rollins is a man of foresight and good judgment, a thorough business man, and a citizen of high character and standing. He is a republican in politics, a Presbyterian in his religious faith, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Fraternal Union. On August 30, 1886, at Fort Scott, Mr. Rollins was married to Miss Jennie Margrave, daughter of Hon. William and Sarah (Hefton) Margrave. They have one son: William M., born October 22, 1888, a graduate of the Fort Scott High School and the Kansas State Normal School, of Pittsburg, who had taught three years...

Biography of Jacob Rumbaugh

Jacob Rumbaugh was for twenty-eight years one of the most widely known citizens of Fort Scott. He had come to that section of Kansas and established a home on lands just across the state line in Missouri in 1870. He endured all the trials and vicissitudes that beset the average farmer of his day. But he was not himself an average man. He had a resourcefulness, a faculty for hard work, that often made him prosper while others were blaming fate for hard times and misfortunes. He was optimistic. As long as he lived he was sustained by hope. It had been well said that when a man ceases to hope he is spiritually dead. Hope is only another word for faith. It was faith that took Jacob Rumbaugh through every trial of life. It was faith that sustained him during the 15 years he spent as an invalid prior to his death on December 1, 1910. As a citizen he was liberal minded, always ready to do his share or more than his share in any undertaking for the public benefit. He was a generous neighbor and friend, and in spite of the sufferings that burdened his later years he was never heard to complain. Apart from his experiences, his achievements, his useful life in the state and among his family and neighbors, he rendered on especially noteworthy service when in his declining years he put down on paper the words which were published in the year of his death under the title “Reminiscences of Jacob Rumbaugh.” These reminiscences were written and dedicated to his children and grandchildren,...

Biography of Charles F. Miller

Charles F. Miller. In making mention of some of the business firms of Fort Scott the name of C. F. Miller stands as a representative of an established business in the implement, vehicle and automobile line. Mr. Miller had virtually grown up with the business, which through the years had gradually expanded and grown and now occupies an important place among the city’s commercial institutions. Mr. Miller was born and reared in Fort Scott, his parents being among the early settlers, having come to Kansas in 1859. Mr. Miller comes of English, German and Scotch ancestry, and is also a descendant of the historic character of New England, Hannah Dustin. His father, the late Dr. Jonathan G. Miller, was a native of Morgantown, West Virginia, where he was born in 1826. He practiced medicine at Newcastle, Indiana, before coming to Kansas. Doctor Miller invested in land and built the Miller Block at Fort Scott in 1863. This block stands at the corner of Main and Wall streets. When twenty years of age Charles F. Miller became assistant bookkeeper for the Durkee & Stout Implement & Grain Company. Afterwards he became bookkeeper and assistant manager for H. L. Page in the same line. Starting at the bottom of the ladder he learned the business in every detail. He soon bought an interest in the concern which became known as the Page & Miller Implement Company. After some years Mr. Page retired and Mr. Miller became sole owner. From 1902 to 1915 he continued to operate the concern, adding automobiles and specializing on the Ford car. In the latter year he...

Biography of Albert Irven Decker

Albert Irven Decker. In the demands which it makes upon its devotees, educational work is exceedingly exacting. The duty of the educator, ostensibly, is to instill a practical, working knowledge into each of his pupils, but his correlative, although less direct, function of instilling character and worthy precepts through his personal influence is equally important. The duty first named calls for an individual of knowledge and specialized training, while the second demands a conscientious and capable person whose life and mode of living provide a fit criterion and example for the minds of youth. When a man is found in whose character are combined these attributes, the early and formative years of future citizens may be safely placed in his care. Such a man is Albert Irven Decker, superintendent of the city schools of Fredonia, a position which he had held for six years, and an educator who had devoted his entire life to his calling. Albert I. Decker was born at Burnside, Hancock County, Illinois, September 4, 1876, and is a son of J. E. and Eda Ruth (Perkins) Decker. The family is of Holland Dutch origin and originally spelled the name “Dekker,” but upon locating in Pennsylvania, in Colonial times, changed the spelling to its present form. Elisha Decker, the grandfather of Professor Decker, was born in Pennsylvania, became a pioneer of Hancock County, Illinois, and engaged in farming near Burnside, where he died at the age of forty-two years, prior to the birth of his grandson. While he did not live to mature years, he was a man of industry and possessed of good business ability,...

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 William Irvin Hammel

William Irvin Hammel is a young business man at Moran, and since establishing himself in that town had built up a very prosperous enterprise as a grain dealer and owned a half interest in the only elevator in that locality. He had also distinguished himself by a very progressive administration of the local city affairs in the office of mayor. Mr. Hammel was born in Sangamon County, Illinois, July 30, 1876, but had spent his life since early boyhood in Kansas. His people, the Hammels, came out of Germany and were Pennsylvania settlers in the colonial times. His grandfather, Samuel Hammel, was born in Ohio, moved from there to Sangamon County, Illinois, and died on his farm in that county in 1861. C. T. Hammel, father of William I., was born in Hancock County near Findlay, Ohio, in 1853. As a child he went to Sangamon County, Illinois, grew up and married there, became a farmer, and in 1884 came to Kansas, locating on a farm seven miles north of Bronson. Subsequently he moved to the Village of Bronson, where for a number of years he was engaged in the grain and livestock business, but is now living practically retired. As a republican he had served as township trustee several terms, and at one time was a candidate for the Legislature. He is a member of the Methodist Church and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. C. T. Hammel married Sarah Moomey, who was born in Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1856. They had two children, William I. and Ella. The latter is the wife of J. R. Hall,...

Biography of William Manfred Barbee

William Manfred Barbee. Among the city offices of Chanute, one that had important bearing upon the welfare of the city and its institutions and the duties of which, in their handling, call for more than ordinary ability, is that of commissioner of public utilities. The present incumbent of this office, William Manfred Barbee, had won the confidence of the public through the able and expeditious manner in which he had handled the business of his department and the energy he had displayed in discharging the responsibilities of public service. He is a native son of Neosho County, and was born October 23, 1864, his parents being Sion and Mary Elizabeth (Easley) Barbee. The Barbee family is of French extraction and its early members in America Colonial settlers of Virginia. From that state the family branched out to Tennessee, where, in 1805, was born the grandfather of William M. Barbee, Joseph Barbee. He was reared on a farm in Wilson County, and there engaged in farming until he was forty years of age, at which time he went to Jefferson County, Illinois, and continued in agricultural pursuits until the time of his death, in 1881. Sion Barbee was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, in 1837, and was eight years of age when taken to Illinois by his parents. There he received his education and was reared to manhood on the home farm, and subsequently went to Sangamon County, Illinois, where he was married. After several years spent in farming, in 1859, he came to Kansas, settling on Big Creek, in Neosho County. Mr. Barbee homesteaded 160 acres and in spite...

Biography of John Francis Hughs

John Francis Hughs. During the past five years Prof. John Francis Hughs had been superintendent of the city schools of Chanute, and in this time had gained a strong and lasting place in the confidence of the people of the community. His interest in his work had been deep, sincere and unabating, and the splendid school system of the city at the present time may be largely accredited to his efforts. His labors have been progressive and practical in character and have proved of the greatest benefit to Chanute. Professor Hughs was born at Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas, August 16, 1881, and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Hopkin) Hughs, natives of South Wales, England. His father was born in 1838 and received an ordinary education in his native land, where, as a young man he engaged in farming in a small way. He was married in his native land and there continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits for some years, but did not advance as rapidly as he desired and felt that his fortunes might be bettered in America. He accordingly came to this country in 1873, and after a brief stop at Paola, Kansas, located among the pioneers of Bourbon County, where he had a homestead in the vicinity of Fort Scott. There Mr. Hughs passed the remainder of his life, his death occurring at Fort Scott in 1898, when he was sixty years of age. He was an industrious and practical farmer and desired no further honors, for he never sought office nor took any more than a good citizen’s interest in public...

Biography of Charles Clifton Crain

Charles Clifton Crain, who is the executive head of one of the largest and most successful enterprises doing business in the wholesale and retail hardware trade in Kansas, being president of the Crain Hardware Company, of Fort Scott, is one of the alert and enterprising men who, during the last half century, have so utilized the opportunities offered here for business preferment that the fame of Fort Scott had been extended to every part of the country. Nothing so builds up a country or section as its commerce and the directing forces are those men whose marvelous foresight see the opportunities which their courage enables them to seize. As one of the leading cities of the great State of Kansas, Fort Scott stands preeminent in many lines, a main one being the wholesale and retail hardware business. Charles Clifton Crain was born May 18, 1856, on a farm near Cooperstown, Venango County, Pennsylvania, and is a son of George F. and Margaret (Hillier) Crain, natives of Venango County, the former born at Crain’s Corners, a village named in honor of the family. The parents of Charles C. Crain were married at Cooperstown, Pennsylvania, in 1860, and nine years later migrated to Bourbon County, Kansas, where they homesteaded land three miles southwest of Fort Scott and engaged in farming. The early settlers of this section were called upon to undergo many hardships and privations, and numbers of them became discouraged and returned to their former homes in the East and South, but George F. Crain was made of sterner stuff, and through his perseverance and industry overcame such obstacles as...

Biography of Miss Isa Allene Greene

Miss Isa Allene Greene grew up in Bourbon County, Kansas, and in that section taught her first school. Through her work she had become one of Kansas’ noted educators. She had proved herself a real teacher. She possesses the ability, rare as it is in any time or generation and rare even in these modern times when so much emphasis is placed upon it, of vitalizing and inspiring the intellectual activities of those under her charge, and all her work had been characterized by a depth of sympathy and understanding which is more necessary in any rational scheme of education than mere ability to impart knowledge. Miss Greene had taught for many years in Kansas and was recently promoted to the great responsibility of superintendent of the School for the Blind, Kansas City, Kansas. Miss Greene was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, at the Town of Smithfield December 29, 1866. She was next to the youngest in a family of ten children. Her parents, Harvey and Nancy (Jaco) Greene, were both natives of Pennsylvania. Her maternal grandfather was of English descent, while her paternal ancestors were Welsh and German. The grandparents came to America about 1800. James H. Greene was a cooper by trade, and also a local minister of the Methodist Church. He and his wife were married and lived continuously in one house in Pennsylvania until all their ten children were born. These children comprised three sons and seven daughters. Five of the daughters taught school at some time, and those living at the present are five daughters and one son: Mrs. Elizabeth Shelley of Independence, Kansas;...
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