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Biography of John William Wallace

John William Wallace is one of the able and progressive educators in Kansas, now superintendent of schools at Reading. He came to this city from Americus in the fall of 1716. He is a young Kansan by birth and tradition, and had brought to his work as an educator not only thorough training but also a loyal appreciation of this great state and her institutions. He is of Scotch stock, his great-grandfather having come from Scotland to Massachusetts about the time of the Revolutionary war. Later the family settled in Mohawk Valley of New York. Professor Wallace’s father is J. V. Wallace, who was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 1862, and is now a farmer and stockman at Waverly in Coffey County, Kansas, where he settled in 1882, when that section of the state was an open range. J. V. Wallace spent the first seven years of his life in his native state, then removed to Iowa, and was married after he came to Coffey County, Kansas. He is a republican who had taken a very active part in county affairs and had served as a member of state conventions. He belongs to the Methodist Church and to the Ancient Order of United Workmen. The maiden name of his wife was Minnie Bazil, who was born in Shelby County, Illinois, in 1868. In the family were fourteen children, mentioned briefly as follows: Mae, wife of Joseph Miller, a retired marble dealer at Burlington, Kansas; John W.; Maggie, who died at the age of fourteen months; Harry, principal of schools at Minneols, Kansas; Howard, who died at the age...

Biography of George A. Gemmell, Prof.

Prof. George A. Gemmell. It is doubtful if there is any other profession which demands so much judgment, tact, specialized knowledge, patient and natural executive ability as that of the educator, and the individual selecting it as his calling must be prepared to make many personal sacrifices, to endure many disappointments, to often spend himself for others without apparent gratitude in return, and to give the best years of his life without the material emoluments that equal effort would surely bring in any other profession. It is a profession for which there is no established table of weights and measures, but it is one which affords the man who would serve the race an opportunity than which there are none greater. Of the educators of Kansas who are engaged in a good and helpful work, one who had not allowed himself to be tied down by old methods or ancient dogmas is Prof. George A. Gemmell, principal of the Crawford County High School, at Cherokee. Mr. Gemmell had made teaching his life work, and in going beyond prescribed limits had shown himself one who is an educator in the best sense and whose practical instruction will be of lasting benefit to those who come under his charge. George A. Gemmell was born July 29, 1882, in Crawford County, Kansas, and is a son of A. J. C. and Cora I. (Clay) Gemmell. His grandfather, Alexander Gemmell, was born near the City of Glasgow, Scotland, and in 1855, with his wife and eldest child, made the trip across the Atlantic to America, locating first for a short time in Canada,...

Biography of Oliver Morton Williams

Oliver Morton Williams, one of the younger citizens of Kansas, has played his part efficiently as a teacher and business man, and is now manager and part owner of the Coffeyville Business College. This college is an institution noted for its thorough work in training young men and women for responsible positions in commercial affairs. A native of Kansas, Mr. Williams was born at Oak Valley, October 24, 1887. Several generations back his ancestors were living in Wales, and after coming to the United States settled perhaps first in New York, and afterwards went to Maryland. The great-great-grandfather’s name was Timothy Williams, and he was of Welsh descent. He was a Revolutionary soldier and also had three sons in the Continental army. The three sons were captured by the British and taken to Montreal, Canada, to the British prison. One of them was a physician, and he was soon taken out of the prison. The reason for this removal was not known by the other brothers but they supposed for service in the British hospitals, and they never heard of him afterward. The other two were kept in the prison for three years and three months, then were released and came back home. Great-grandfather Benjamin Williams was born in Pennsylvania about 1770. He was too small to serve as a soldier in the time of the Revolution, but he could mold bullets and watch port-holes while the soldiers rested. He was also captured by the British and Indians. An Indian took him and a little girl about his size to keep with the tribe, but a British officer, not...

Biography of Guy E. Truitt

Guy E. Truitt. To the real lover of nature there is no vocation known to mankind which furnishes more interesting possibilities than the nursery business. Developments in recent years along this line have been as wonderful as they were formerly unexpected and unbelievable. Yet even to the man who labors faithfully to maintain high standards already established there is that satisfaction in accomplishment possible only when an individual works in collaboration with nature and the elements of creation. Kansas had had its full quota of earnest, painstaking men in this vocation who have delighted in their labor and have contributed liberally to the well-being of the community, but few concerns have enjoyed a longer or more prosperous career than the Chanute Nurseries, which have enlisted the activities of two generations, and which are now being conducted at Chanute under the able management of Guy E. Truitt, a man who is perfectly and sincerely in sympathy with his work. Mr. Truitt was born in Greenup County, Kentucky, July 2, 1876, and is a son of James and Ella E. (Griece) Truitt, and is of English descent. His father was also a native of Kentucky, born in 1838, and was reared on a farm, where he learned to love and understand the works of nature. During his youth he engaged in farming, but gradually turned his attention more and more to the nursery business. When the Civil war came on he enlisted in the Home Guards, but saw little service, and when peace was declared went happily and contentedly back to the cultivation of his plants, his shrubs and his trees....

Biography of David S. Gilmore

David S. Gilmore has been connected with the publishing and editing of newspapers in Southern Kansas for a quarter of a century or more. For upwards of twenty years he had been proprietor and editor of the Northern Lyon County Journal at Allen, and is one of the leading citizens of that town. He is a son of one of the very prominent pioneers and early builders of Emporia, the late D. S. Gilmore. D. S. Gilmore was born in County Dundee, Scotland, in 1841, a son of William Gilmore, who was a cabinet maker and who brought his family to America, living for a time in Rochester, New York, and in 1858 settling among the pioneers of Southern Kansas. D. S. Gilmore was also connected with the printing trade, and as a pressman helped move the first power printing press up the river to Leavenworth and thence to Topeka, this being the first press of the kind brought into Kansas. There were no railroads in the state at the time. For some time D. S. Gilmore was joint owner with Mr. Statler of the Emporia News. At the first call for troops he enlisted in a Kansas regiment of infantry and was a Union soldier until the close of the war, and his widow now receives a pension for his services. Following the war he was in the newspaper business at Emporia and later for twenty years was in the furniture and undertaking business. He was also associated with W. T. Soden in the manufacture of furniture, their factory being located on the river at Emporia. D. S....

Biography of John C. Kirby, M. D.

John C. Kirby, M. D. For the past fifteen years the name of Dr. John C. Kirby had been increasingly identified with the best tenets of medical and surgical science in the city and vicinity of Cedar Vale. By many of the longest established and most conservative families his skill, resource and obliging temperament have come to be regarded as indispensable, and there exist many who are indebted to him for their restoration to health, happiness and usefulness. Doctor Kirby had the zeal which recognizes no limitations in his profession, and the great unrest which projects him into ever-widening channels of research. His most prized attributes in part are inherited from colonial sires, who braved the perils of early Carolina and whose successors, when duty called, followed the martial fortunes of Washington in the winning of American independence. John C. Kirby was born in Benton County, Missouri, January 7, 1864, and is a son of Robert and Nancy J. (Davis) Kirby. The earliest American ancestor of the family came to North Carolina from England, prior to the War of the Revolution, in which the great-grandfather of Doctor Kirby fought as a soldier of the Continental line. Robert Kirby, the grandfather of the Doctor, was born in North Carolina, fought as an American soldier during the War of 1812, became a pioneer into Tennessee, and in 1843 moved to Benton County, Missouri, where he passed the remainder of his life as an agriculturist and died before the birth of his grandson. Robert Kirby was born in 1832, in Tennessee, and was eleven years of age when taken by his parents...

Biography of Ralph Randolph Hibben

Ralph Randolph Hibben. Parsons is the home and headquarters of a number of men who have given many years of faithful service to the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company. One of these is Ralph Randolph Hibben, Assistant Fuel Agent for this road, and for almost a quarter of a century had been continuously identified with the Coal Department of this company. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the International Railway Fuel Association of America. He is of English, Irish stock originally, his ancestors on his mother’s side coming to America with William Penn, and settled in Pennsylvania. His ancestors on his father’s side were from Ireland and they also settled in Pennsylvania, prior to the Revolutionary war. Mr. Hibben is a native of Kansas and son of a distinguished pioneer physician, Dr. W. W. Hibben. Doctor Hibben settled in Emporia October 31, 1867, and was engaged in the practice of medicine from that time until his death, October, 1883. In addition to his regular practice, he was associated with one Doctor Jacobs in the drug business. He was a member of the City Council for two terms and held the office of coroner for one term. He was also examining surgeon for Board of Pensions at Emporia for nine years and was the president of this board from its incipiency to his death. He was a member of the County and State Medical societies, was also member of Lodge No. 12, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and of Chapter No. 12, Royal Arch Masons, and was a charter member of the Emporia Commandery...

Biography of George O. Lines

George O. Lines. The real estate and insurance business established by George O. Lines in 1911 had gone hand in hand with the development of Neodesha during the past five years, and undoubtedly had contributed as largely during this time toward the advantageous disposal of property and the honorable placing of insurance as any concern of the kind in Wilson County. Mr. Lines is one of Neodesha’s foremost and most substantial citizens, and while his name necessarily is associated with one of the early and influential families of the county, his success had been self-attained, and in its usefulness and scope attracts attention to qualities of business integrity, perseverance and ability and high regard for the welfare of the community. He was born on a farm in Wilson County, Kansas, January 3, 1874, and is a son of S. N. and Sarah (Livezey) Lines. The family of which Mr. Lines is a member originated in Ireland, and the first of the name to come to America located in Connecticut prior to the Revolutionary war. Thomas Lines, the great-grandfather of George O. Lines, was born in 1810, in Indiana, and in addition to being a farmer was a minister of the Baptist Church and preached in that faith in Indiana for approximately fifty years. His death occurred in Henry County, Indiana, in 1901, when he had reached the advanced age of ninety-one years. Elljab Lines, the grandfather of George O. Lines, was born in 1830, in Indiana, and as a young man took up farming as his life work. His career, however, was interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil...

Biography of Joseph Allen Fuller

Joseph A. Fuller is clerk of the district court of Greenwood County, with home and offices at Eureka. For a man not yet thirty years of age he had had a great variety of experience, had been a successful teacher, and had also been a participant in the farming and stock raising activities of his home county. His Fuller ancestors came to the colonies in the Mayflower. His grandfather was Joseph Allen Fuller, for whom he was named. The grandfather was born in Illinois, and in 1860 came out to Kansas and was one of the early settlers at Emporia. He served as a soldier in the Civil war, being with an Illinois regiment for a time and afterwards joined a Kansas regiment in assisting to repel Price’s invasion. During that campaign he received a gunshot wound, and that hastened his death. He served as deputy sheriff at Emporia, and died there a number of years before his grandson was born. Joseph Allen Fuller, of Eureka, was born near Madison, Kansas, March 11, 1888. His father, Robert Allen Fuller, who resided on the old farm at Madison, was born in Emporia in 1860, grew up in that town and when a young man came to Greenwood County where he married. He bought a farm near Madison, and had been very successful in diversified agriculture and stock raising. He now had 320 acres. At one time he enjoyed more than a local reputation as a breeder of Shorthorn cattle. He is a republican, an active supporter of the Methodist Church, belongs to the Kansas State Grange, and is a member...

Biography of William M. Price, Hon.

Hon. William M. Price, a resident of Kansas for fifteen years, is a successful banker, being now president of the Lyon County State Bank at Emporia, but over the state at large is best known through his services as a member of the State Senate. Senator Price was elected to the Senate in 1912, his present term expiring January 1, 1917. He represents the senatorial district comprising Greenwood and Lyon counties. He had the distinction of having been the chief supporter of the measure now on the Kansas statute books providing pensions for mothers. The Mothers’ Pension Bill as he introduced it in the Senate was drawn up along the lines endorsed by the courts and the various woman’s organizations, and though not adopted in that form he ardently championed it and deserves much credit for the passage of the modified measure as it now stands. During the legislative session of 1915 Senator Price was chairman of the banking committee and a member of the assessment and taxation committee, public utilities committee, election committee, and cities of second class committee. He is regarded as one of the most progressive leaders in his section of the state. William M. Price was born in San Antonio, Texas, July 31, 1870, a son of H. F. and Rebecoa M. (Chilcutt) Price, and in the paternal line is of Scotch-Welsh ancestors and German on his mother’s side. H. F. Price was born in Tennessee in 1824, grew up and married in that state, and in 1850 went to Texas, becoming a pioneer settler on a ranch near the Medina River west of San...
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