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Biography of Claes F. Norstrom

Claes F. Norstrom is among the pioneer claimtaking and homesteading element of the country around Lindsborg. In fact some of the early matters of historical interest are a part of his personal record and experience. McPherson County was a wild and untamed district when Mr. Norstrom arrived in 1868 and secured a tract of Government land adjoining the present town of Lindsborg. In that one community he had worked out his destiny and had resided there nearly half a century. Many acres were brought under cultivation and made to produce bountiful crops by his energy. His influence was not confined to his homestead. He had been a factor in the life and affairs of Lindsborg and that section. His fellow citizens have from time to time conferred upon him the responsibilities of township officer and of other positions of trust. Since it was organized in 1888 Mr. Norstrom had been treasurer of the Swedish American Insurance Company of Lindeborg. He had been a director of the First National Bank of the city since 1907. Both church and schools have been helped by him and he was one of the organizers and for twenty years had been a trustoe of the Swedish Lutheran Church of Lindsborg. One of the interesting landmarks of this section is a log house which Mr. Norstrom carefully preserves on his farm and which stands in decided contrast to the larger, more commodious and convenient buildings which have since arisen as the product of his toil and labor. This log house had an interest affecting the entire county besides Mr. Norstrom. It was the first frame...

Biography of Earl A. Nossaman

Earl A. Nossaman, secretary of the Monarch Cement Company at Humboldt, had lived in Kansas since early infancy, educated himself for the teaching profession, which he followed for a number of years, and was in the drug business before he accepted his present official position with the Monarch Cement Company. He went with this company while it was being reorganised, and as manager of the sales department had had much to do with its successful operations in recent years. His ancestry goes back to Hesse Cassel, Germany, where his great-grandfather was born. Coming to America, this ancestor settled in Pennsylvania. Mr. Nossaman’s grandfather, Lewis Nossaman, served with credit as a Union soldier during the American Civil war. For many years he lived on a farm in Harrison County, Missouri, came from there to Kingman County, Kansas, where he was a pioneer homesteader, and he died at Wellington, Kansas. Earl Adrian Nossaman was born in Harrison County, Missouri, February 18, 1879. His father is Warren Pierce Nossaman, who was born in Iowa in 1853, but when a boy went with his parenta to Harrison County, Missouri, where he grew up and married. He became a farmer, and in the fall of 1879 came to Kansas, first locating in McPherson County and in 1883 taking up a homestead of 160 acres in Kingman County. He developed that as a good farm, but in 1905 sold out and retired to Cunningham, Kansas, where he now resided. In order to have occupation for his leisure time he had since engaged in the real estate and insurance business and is also one of the...

Biography of David C. Stahlman

David C. Stahlman, M. D.The kind of energy, resource and large-mindedness required of the man who would succsed in any of the learned professions in these days of strennous effort seem to be an integral part of the equipment of Dr. David C. Stahlman, a medical and surgical practitioner, who with the exception of two years had been engaged in the practice of his honored calling at Potwin, Butler County, since 1900. The recipient of a patronage that is as remnnerative financially as it is satisfying intellectually, Doctor Stahlman is an enthusiastic and careful thinker, and notwithstanding his well known caution and respect for tradition is not afraid of untrod paths or of independent individual effort. Doctor Stahlman was born January 10, 1867, in Steuben County, Indiana, and is a son of Ernest and Rachel (Handley) Stahlman. His father was born in 1819, on the Rhine River, Germany, and was twenty years of age when he immigrated to the United States, first locating in the State of Pennsylvania and later removing to Steuben County, Indiana, where he became a pioneer farmer. He passed the remaining years of his life in agrienltural pursuits in the Hoosier State, and died in Steuben County June 7, 1871. He was politically a republican, and his religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By his first wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Rupp, he had three children: John Henry, who is now deceasod; Charles William, who is a retired farmer of Steuben County, Indiana; and Artie A., who is a farmer of that county. By his second marriage, to Louisa Underwood, Ernest...

Biography of Harris W. Manning, M. D.

Harris W. Manning, M. D. The country along the banks of the Cottonwood River around Emporia had become a landmark in Kansas literature, largely due to the ability of William Allen White in investing those scenes with literary color and description. It was along the hanks of the farnous Cotton wood, four miles west of Emporia in Lyon County, that Dr. Harris W. Manning, a prominent physician and a specialist at Eureka, was born September 20, 1868. His father, Patrick W. Manning, belonged to the colony of earliest settlers in Lyon County, having homesteaded a claim there about the middle of the decade of the ’50s, when the first white settlemenits were being planted along the Cottonwood. Patrick W. Manning was a son of William and Catherine (White) Manning, both natives of Ireland. William Manning followed milling in Ireland near his birthplace at Waterford, but about 1846 immigrated to America and landed at Montreal, Canada, and from there went to Buffalo, New York. Both he and his wife died there soon afterward. Of their children who are still living, William is a resident of Buffalo, New York, and Kate is a resident of Norman, Oklahoma, the widow of Henry King, who was a furrier and later a farmer in Kansas. Patrick W. Manning was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1834, and was about twelve years of age when his parents landed at Montreal, Canada. The death of his parents at Buffalo, New York, left him an orphan and he was then taken to the State of Michigan and bound out to a family by the name of Wattles. He...

Biography of Thomas Jones Darrah

Thomas Jones Darrah. One of the men most prominently identified with the development of McPherson County from pioneer times forward, and who made a striking success in business, was the late Thomas Jones Darrah, who died in the City of McPherson May 4, 1916. Mr. Darrah was in his seventy-third year when death called him. He was born in Burke County, Pennsylvania, October 6, 1843, a son of Dr. James and Margaret R. (Jones) Darrah, who were also natives of the Keystone state. Prior to the Civil war, Doctor Darrah brought his family out to Kansas and located in Leavehworth County, where he lived until his death. The widowed mother afterward died in McPherson County. Owing to the conditions under which his boyhood was spent, Thomas J. Darrah derived most of his education from the great teacher, Experience. His alert mind, keen perception, and remarkable memory enabled him, when but a boy, to meet the responsibilities and undertake business ventures worthy of a man. He and his brother Sam, just a little older than himself, engaged in freighting over the Santa Fe trail, a profitable but hazardous business in those days of Indian raiders and frontier desperadoes. They not only hauled freight for the Government, mails, money, etc., and for other shippers, but they often bought their own loads and carried on a prairie mercantile business. The cargo was always valuable and frequently they had to defend it at the risk of their lives. The capital required to buy wagons, mules, horses and other equipment would have dismayed more conservative young men, but the Darrah brothers dared to use...

Biography of A. J. Shaw

A. J. Shaw, of McPherson, is the acknowledged expert authority in the West on the subject of hail insurance. Since its organization in 1899 he had been continuously secretary of the McPherson Hail Insurance Company. The McPherson Hail Insurance Company is a business organization of which the State of Kansas may be proud. It was the first Kansas company to offer an adequate service in this department of insurance. Prior to twenty-five years ago insurance against Hail was almost unknown as a practice in Kansas. The only company that offered such insurance was the St. Paul Fire & Marine. About 1891 the Farmers Alliance Insurance Company of McPherson created a hail department, but continued it only four or five years. The experiment was unsatisfactory, largely because the rate was three and one-eighth per cent, which subsequent experience had proved too low. In December, 1898, H. F. Harbaugh, now president of the McPherson Hail Insurance Company, introduced in the Legislature, of which he was a member, a bill, providing for the organization of mutual hail insurance companies. In response to this bill a meeting was called at McPherson January 31, 1899. A number of those participating in the assion were members and officials of the Farmers Alliance organization. This meeting resulted in the organization of the Kansas State Mutual Hail Association, which in January, 1914, became the McPherson Hail Insurance Company. The first officers of the association were: J. W. Yowell, of McPherson County, president; O. A. Smith, of Barton County, vice president; H. Parker, of McPherson County, treasurer; H. F. Harbaugh, of Sumner County, adjuster; and A. J. Shaw,...

Biography of Alfred Bergin B. D., Ph. D.

Alfred Bergin, B. D., Ph. D.The Bethany Church at Lindsborg ever since it was established on the prairies of Central Kansas nearly fifty years ago had been a powerful influence not only in the religious life of Kansas but to a remarkable degree in the social and intellectual advancement of the people of the state. It is the oldest and the parent church of the Swedish Lutheran people who did so much to colonize and develop these prairles from a wilderness into a smiling landscape of farms and towna. The church had a membership of over two thousand people. It was organized by Dr. Olof Olson on August 19, 1869. After Dr. Olson’s ten years of service Dr. Carl Swensson served as pastor all his ministerial life, or for twenty-five years. Dr. Swensson will always be gratefully remembered by the church and by hundreds of people outside of the church. During his pastorate the famous Messiah concerts were started, and there is no one artistic movement or enterprise in the state of Kansas which had become so widely known and is more justly entitled to the appreciation of the cultured classes. The direct resuit of Dr. Swensson’s pastorate was the founding of Bethany College. For the past twelve years Dr. Alfred Bergin had been pastor of Bethany Church. In that time he had continned the great work begun by his predecessors, and at the same time had made himself a factor in the welfare of the community and the state. While most widely known as an author, minister, teacher and religious leader, Dr. Bergin had in his time come...

Biographical Sketch of J. A. Glaze, Rev.

Rev. J. A. Glaze is pastor of the Christian Church at Miltonvale. As head of that church he had one of the most spiritually efficient religious organizations in Cloud County. A brief outline of the church’s growth and development had its proper place in Kansas History. The Church of Christ at Miltonvale was organized April 17, 1884, with twenty-four charter members. The officers at the beginning were: Elders John Squires and W. J. Hays; Deacons J. B. Johnson and A. V. Step; and minister, Rev. Kenney. In 1886 preparations were begun for a building. In 1887 the ediflce was completed at a cost of $3,200. At that time Rev. R. L. Downing was the resident pastor. The dedication sermon was preached by Rev. Morgan Morgans. Before that time $1,600 had been pledged for the building fund and at the dedication $1,000 was raised, leaving a deflcit of $600, which was assumed by the building committee. The entire church debt was paid by 1899, the total aggregating $5,500. In 1908 $3,000 was expended in improving and remodeling the structure, and the present valuation of the church property at Miltonvale is $6,000. The building had a seating capacity of 350 and it is now one of the finest church buildings in that section of Cloud County. Under Mr. Glaze’s pastorate the membership is 175 and there are 150 in the Sunday School. Rev. Mr. Glaze had spent most of his career as a minister of the gospel in Kansas. He was born at Aiken, South Carolina, March 13, 1887, a son of J. A. and Americus Glaze. Reared and educated in...

Biography of Carl Aaron Swensson, Rev. Dr.

Rev. Dr. Carl Aaron Swensson was the founder and chief upbuilder of Bethany College, the institution around which cluster the best and most noteworthy distinctions of Lindsborg as a community and from which have gone influences that now permeate and give character to many localities through the useful men and women educated there. In an important degree Bethany College is a monnment to the late Doctor Swensson, and to a nobler one few men could aspire. He was born at Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1857, a son of Jonas and Maria (Blixt) Swensson. His parents came to America in 1856 from Smoland, Sweden. His father was a noted minister of the Swedish Lutheran Church and at the time of his death in 1873 at Andover, Illinois, was president of the Augustana Synod of the Swedish Lutheran churches in America. He and his wife had been married in 1855, just a year before they started for America. Mrs. Jonas Swensson died in 1874. The late Dr. Carl A. Swensson was the oldest in a family of seven children. As a youth he attended a parochial school at Andover, Illinois, and afterwards was edueated under private tutors. At the age of sixteen he entered the freshman class of Augustana College at Rock Island, Illinois, and was graduated with the class of 1877. The same year he entered the Theological Seminary, connected with the same institution, was graduated in June, 1870, and June 22 (1879) was regularly ordained as a minister of the Swedish Lutheran Church of the Augustana Synod. Doctor Swensson had accepted an urgent call from the Swedish Lutheran...

Biography of William Harry Little, M. D.

William Harry Little, M. D. The community of Alta Vista in Wabaunsee County had had the capable services of Doctor Little as a physician for more than fifteen years. In connection with his large practice Doctor Little also conducts the leading drug store of the village. Doctor Little is a native of Ohio, but had spent most of his life in Kansas. He was born in Lucas County, near the City of Toledo, November 5, 1868. He is of colonial American stock, originally from Scotland. His people were early settlers in Pennsylvania and pioneers in the State of Ohio. His father, Alfred Little, was born at Youngstown, Ohio, in 1841, and at the age of thirteen became a canal boatman, operating on the canal between Cincinnati and Toledo. He followed that as a regular business until 1879, when he came West and settled in McPherson County, Kansas, joining the pioneers of that section. His farm was ten miles northwest of the Town of McPherson, and he lived there until his death in 1902. He was a republican in politics and a very strong and active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Alfred Little married Elizabeth Elliott. She was born in 1845, in Lucas County, Ohio, and is now living, at the age of seventy-two, with her daughter, Mrs. C. E. Blackman in McPherson, Kansas. She was the mother of five children, Doctor Little being the oldest. Lewis, born in 1872, is a resident of Spearville, Kansas, and owned and operates a threshing outfit. Homer was a farmer in McPherson County and was accidentally shot and killed on Easter Sunday...
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