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Biography of Edward Secrest

While his hundreds of well wishers and admiring friends in Riley County speak— as they often do—of Mr. Edward Seerest, they seldom use his full name, but a term of more significance and affection–simply “Uncle Ed.” In a country where titles of nobility are forbidden, there is more of genuine honor and esteem accompanying these words than are signified in the more august titles so prevalent in the undemocratic comtries across the sea. There have been several enechal events in the career of this honored pioneer settler of Riley County. The first came when he was fourteen years of age. At that time he was the oldest of four children–Edward, Solomon. Esther C. and Jacob–included in the little household of John Ulrich and Regula (Fryhofer) Secrest who were thrifty and honest residents and freeholders of Canton Zurich, Switzerland, dwelling near the Town of Winterthur. John Ulrich Secrest was a weaver of linen. The son Edward up to that time had attended somewhat regularly the public schools of his native land. In the winter evenings and at other times the family had again and again disenssed the advantages and opportunities of the wonderful country of America. These discussions had become more and more deflnite. and at the time just mentioned the family were on the point of undertaking the great adventure of immigrating to the New World. Edward Secrest had been born April 21, 1833, and it was in 1846 that the little family set sail from Havre, France, and after a sea vovage of seven weeks landed in New Orleans. From that southern seaport a steamboat took them up...

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