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Biography of William A. Kelsoe

William Austin Kelsoe was born in Greenville, Bond county, Illinois, February 1, 1851. Upon the death of his mother, a few weeks later, he was committed to the care of Mrs. Sarah Phelps, of Pocahontas, in the same county, and her daughters, one of whom is now Mrs. Kate L. Doubt, a resident of St. Louis. From the age of two years until he reached manhood he was a member of the family of William and Martha Greenwood Watkins and lived with them in Pocahontas, Greenville, Vandalia and East St. Louis, Illinois, also for three years on a farm a few miles northeast of Highland, Illinois. His father, Alexander Kelsoe, circuit clerk of Bond county for twelve years, died in January, 1862, and Mr. Watkins, who was his mother’s brother, was appointed his guardian. He attended the public schools of three of the towns named and also the Greenville Institute, a private school for boys conducted by Rev. Samuel W. Marston, father of Edgar L. Marston, a St. Louis attorney in the ’80s and now a prominent New York banker. Mr. Kelsoe entered McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois, in the fall of 1866 and during the winter of 1870-1 he taught a country school in St. Clair county, Illinois. In 1872 he received the degree of A. B. from McKendree and three years later that of A. M., the intervening time being spent, for the most part, at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, which he entered in 1872 with one of his McKendree classmates, Dr. A. C. Bernays, later internationally famous as a surgeon, and Robert Luedeking, later dean of...

Biography of Henry K. Hartley

The middle portion of the nineteenth century might properly be termed the age of utility, especially in the northwest. This vast region was then being opened up to civilization, and the honored pioneers who found homes in this rich but undeveloped region were men who had to contend with the trials and difficulties of frontier life. Theirs were lives of toil. They were endeavoring to make homes to cultivate farms, establish stock ranches, develop mineral resources, found business enterprises, and from early manhood to old age their lot was generally one of labor; but their importance to the community cannot be overestimated, and the comforts and luxuries today enjoyed by the younger generation are largely due to the brave band of pioneer men and women who came to the northwest during its primitive condition. It is also encouraging and interesting to note that many who came here empty-handed have worked their way upward to positions of affluence; that as the years have passed and the country improved prosperity has attended their efforts and wealth rewarded their earnest endeavors. To this class of honored men belongs Henry K. Hartley, who has been a resident of Idaho since 1864, his home being in Caldwell, Canyon County. He was born in Greenville, Illinois, March 15, 1833, and is of English lineage, the original American ancestors having settled in the south, prior to the Revolutionary war, in which they participated, thus aiding in the establishment of the republic. James Hartley, father of our subject, was born in Augusta, Georgia, and married a Miss Walker, also a native of that state. They became the...

Biography of Julius Weiss

Julius Weiss. Recently the Topeka Daily Capital had an illustration on one of its pages showing a banquet table surrounded by a group of some of the best known and most prominent veteran business men of Topeka. Underneath was a text explaining the occasion. A part of this reads as follows: “Fifty years at the old stand, forty-seven years at the same number and still an active business man. That is something of a distinction. March 1, 1866, Julius Weiss, a young captain of calvary who had served all through the Civil war in an Illinois regiment, opened a grocery store on Kansas Avenue. Wednesday evening, March 1, just fifty years to the day, a group of Mr. Weiss’ friends gathered at his home, 421 Tyler, to celebrate the anniversary with him. Everybody there felt it was a great event, and it was. “A likeness of Mr. Weiss taken fifty years ago, with bushy hair and long moustache, so fashionable in the early ’60s, judging by all Civil war photographs, was shown on the place cards. It didn’t look much like the kindly man with closely cropped gray VanDyke and high forehead who sat smiling at the head of the table. It was a unique dinner party and a jolly one. Several of Mr. Weiss’ fifty-year customers were there. Nowadays we call them patrons. In the group were pre-staters, early-staters and a few recent comers like E. H. Crosby and F. M. Pelletier. Mr. Crosby didn’t come to Topeka until 1880, and was called a tenderfoot when he made the fact known.” Some interesting individual history is revealed in...

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