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Biography of Newt Purcell

Newt Purcell has known Butler County since he was a boy, and the people of that county have known him throughout this period as an upright and straight-forward citizen, one who had gained his position in life by hard struggle and conscientious effort, and who is equal to duties that have devolved upon him. For a number of years he had been connected with the sheriff’s office, and is now serving his second term as sheriff. Mr. Purcell was born in James County, Tennessee, December 25, 1876, a son of Samuel E. and Mary (Kimbrough) Purcell, both natives of the same state. Newt was a child of five years when his parents left Tennessee and first came to Kansas. They located in Butler County, south of Augusta, but remained only two years. Conditions in all parts of Kansas were then somewhat discouraging, and the Purcell family decided they would fare better in Tennessee. However, in 1885 they were again on the road to the west. This time they came across the country in a prairie schooner drawn by a team of mules. Their objective point was Western Kansas. They traveled in their prairie schooner over miles and miles of country, visited several counties, and that long journey had remained fresh in Sheriff Purcell’s mind to the present day. They found no suitable location in the western counties and finally returned to Butler County, again locating near Augusta. The first few years here represented a hard struggle for existence. On coming to Butler County Mr. Purcell’s mother was sick, and his father had only $6 in cash to meet the...

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