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Biography of Jeremiah L. Seitz

Jeremiah L. Seitz is one of the pioneers of McPherson County. He came to Kansas a short time after the close of the Civil war, in which he had served as one of the youngest volunteers on the Union side. As a homesteader, farmer, public official and business man he had played a worthy and influential role in McPherson County since pioneer days. He is still active and had a good business as a collecting agent and auctioneer. Mr. Seitz was born April 16, 1847, at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, son of Jacob and Barbara (Shellebarger) Seitz. His parents were natives of Germany and came to America when quite young. His father came over in 1831. The father was born in 1812 and the mother in 1814. They were married at Decatur, Illinois, in 1839. Jacob Seitz, who followed the business of merchant tailor, permanently located at Decatur in 1857, and lived there half a century, until his death, October 14, 1907. The mother died at Decatur September 20, 1876. There were five children, four sons and one daughter. John, the oldest, born in 1840, was a private soldier in Company B of the Eighth Illinois Infantry and was killed in battle at Fort Donelson in 1862. David W., the second in age, was born in May, 1842, and is now a veterinary surgeon and stock man at Bement, Illinois. Daniel, born in July, 1844, combines farming with his duties as preacher in the United Brethren Church at Oakley, Illinois. The next in age is Jeremiah L. William, the youngest, was born in July, 1849, and is a farmer at Hammond,...

Biography of Alexander Carraway Spilman

Alexander Carraway Spilman, living at McPherson at the age of eighty, is one of the few survivors of the true pioneer epoch of Kansas. The range of his experience seems remarkable even for a man of his age. He was in Kansas as a witness and newspaper correspondent of the factional turbulence of territorial days. He is a civil engineer by profession and was a member of the United States surveying party which surveyed Kansas west of the sixth principal meridian in 1858. It is probable that he is the only living pioneer or the oldest settler west of that meridian in Kansas. He knew the country when it was an absolute wilderness, a vast expanse of prairie and buffalo grass roamed over by the wild Indians and the buffalo. He fought as a soldier in the Civil war. He was one of the original company that founded the Town of Salina, and had been almost equally prominent in McPherson since that city came into existence. Captain Spilman was born at Yazoo City, Mississippi, October 5, 1837, a son of Dr. James F. and Margaret (Carraway) Spilman. His paternal grandfather Spilman, whose name was Benjamin, was born in Virginia. Dr. James F. Spilman, one of a family of eleven children, five sons and six daughters, was born in Kentucky in 1788 and died at Bunker Hill, Illinois, in 1870. He became a prominent and successful physician. He gave military service during the Black Hawk Indian war of 1832, in which Abraham Lincoln served as a captain of Illinois volunteers. In 1816 Doctor Spilman married Miss Margaret Carraway, who was...

Biography of Harvey Elmer Bruce

Harvey Elmer Bruce is one of Kansas’ successful newspaper men, being owner and editor of The Marquette Tribune, which he acquired some years ago and which he had made an influential organ of public opinion in McPherson and adjoining counties of the state. Mr. Bruce was born on a farm in Logan County, Ohio, March 12, 1865, but had lived in McPherson County, Kansas, since early boyhood. He was a successful schoolman in this state before he enrolled in the ranks of newspaper men. His parents were Henry Clay and Louise Jane (Abel) Bruce. His father was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, January 12, 1838, and was reared in Ohio. He brought his family out to Kansas in November, 1878. He is now living retired at Marquette. He spent his active career as a miller and farmer. His wife was born in Logan County, Ohio, February 1, 1847, and died at McPherson, Kansas, January 8, 1887. They were married June 1, 1864, near Huntsville, Ohio, and their children were six in number, three sons and three daughters, namely: Harvey E.; Maude, who was born November 24, 1867, and died December 5, 1873; Frank Aubrey, born August 17, 1869, now living at Roy, New Mexico; Byrnina C., born July 31, 1873, now the wife of D. W. Hull, a farmer near McPherson, Kansas; Wynne D., born February 1, 1877, now wife of E. A. Falgren, of McPherson, Kansas; and Henry Kenneth, who was born February 7, 1882, and is associated with his brother Harvey in the newspaper business. Harvey Elmer Bruce was thirteen years old when he came to Kansas,...

Biography of Francis Johnson

Francis Johnson. What the Kansas pioneers went through in their efforts to establish homes and build up a commonwealth of material greatness and high ideals is a subject of knowledge known to Francis Johnson not from books or what other people have told him, but is part of his individual experience and recollection. He was one of the first settlers from Sweden who established homes in McPherson County in the years following the Civil war, and had always been one of the strong men of that community. His strength of body enabled him to conquer the forces of the wilderness and his strength of character and of heart had made him a source of great good and benefit in founding and upholding those institutions of which the people around Lindsborg take such justifiable pride. Mr. Johnson since retiring from active business affairs had lived in Lindsborg. He was born in Sweden December 27, 1841, an only son and child of Eric and Anna (Norquist) Johnson. He grew up in his native land, and while his education was not the equivalent of a college training he came to manhood strong and resourceful in both mind and body and well fitted for the career which awaited him in America. He was twenty-eight years of age when in 1869 he came to this country and joined the early Swedish colonists in McPherson County, Kansas. He took up a homestead of Government land 2½ miles southwest of the present Town of Lindsborg. With him he had as a companion and sharer in the privations of this early home his young wife, whom he...

Biography of Robert Alfred Thompson

Robert Alfred Thompson. Marquette in McPherson County is one of the thriving towns of Kansas whose population is largely composed of Swedish people, and the community in its industrial and moral aspect had been materially influenced by the substantial character of these people. One of the most prominent men of the town for the past thirty years had been Robert Alfred Thompson, who, successful in business, had studiously sought every opportunity to upbuild and promote the substantial welfare of the town. Mr. Thompson is a native of Sweden, having been born at Landskrona, near Copenhagen, January 10, 1855. His parents were Sohne and Cecilia (Rasmussen) Thompson. He began his education in the public schools of Sweden, and came to America in 1875, at the age of nineteen years. Mr. Thompson is a scholarly man and had always indulged his taste for books, had a fine private library, and had broadly informed himself by extensive travel. After coming to America he became a student in Augustana College at Rock Island, Illinois, and was graduated in the Classical Course in 1886. During the next year he filled a clerical position and then moved to Marquette, Kansas, where now for thirty years he had been one of the chief factors in the life of the town. For several years he was successfully engaged in the real estate brokerage business. In connection with the Pihlblad estate he then established a large general mercantile store at Marquette and made that one of the main business institutions of the town. Mr. Thompson was one of the organizers of the Marquette State Bank in 1892, and...

Biography of Bror G. Grondal

Bror G. Grondal. At the very head of the profession of photography in Kansas stands Bror G. Grondal, who for thirty consecutive years had conducted the leading studio at Lindsborg. Mr. Grondal both in his profession and in other lines of activity is a man of widely diversified experience. His career is an interesting one since he came to America in childhood years and had fought continuously a brave and unremitting struggle until he placed himself in a position where he is master of a congenial profession. Mr. Grondal is a former president of the Kansas State Photographers Association. He was born in the famous university City of Upsala, Sweden, January 11, 1855. His parents, John G. and Sophia (Yack) Grondal, spent all their lives in Sweden. He lived in his native country until he was fourteen and in the meantime attended the University of Upsala. Bravely facing the world alone, he set out for America, and landed at Savannah, Georgia, without means or influence. The first year he worked as clerk in a general merchandise store at Sanford, Florida. The next year he was employed as a chainman with a surveying corps and also put in one year in a sawmill. Other experiences followed and for a year he was a salesman in New York City and then enlisted as a sailor, and sailed for five years, two years in the United States Revenue Service and three years in the Deep Water and Coastwise Service, going around the world and seeing all the different foreign countries. On leaving the sea he came inland and lived in Chicago for...

Biography of George W. McClintick

George W. McClintick. Kansas ought to remember the late George W. McClintick as a pioneer editor and newspaper man, and one of those who gave dignity to journalism and contributed not a little to Kansas’ place in literature. During much of his active life he lived at McPherson, where he died and where his widow, Mrs. Hester A. McClintick, still resided. George W. McClintick was born on a farm in Hancock County, Ohio, December 31, 1852, and died at McPherson, Kansas, August 21, 1903. His parents were Rev. William and Mary (Robbins) McClintick, of Scotch and English descent, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Virginia. From Ohio Rev. William McClintick removed with his family to Iowa, later to Nebraska, and for a number of years conducted a nursery near Lincoln. In 1872 he and his family came to McPherson and were among the early settlers of that county. Rev. William McClintick was a minister of the Free Methodist Church and organized the first church of that denomination in McPherson County. While in Kansas he followed farming and preaching and was also serving as mayor of McPherson at the time of his death on March 21, 1879. His wife died September 29, 1879. Their children were Emma, George W., Olive, Mary and William, all now deceased except Emma. George W. McClintick spent his early youth in Michigan and Nebraska, and was a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He was twenty years of age when he came with his parents to McPherson County, Kansas, and there he learned the printing trade in the office...

Biography of William J. Krehbiel

William J. Krehbiel is editor and owner of The McPherson Daily and Weekly Republican, the pioneer newspaper of McPherson County. It was established as a weekly issue in 1872, the year that McPherson City was founded. In 1885 it took on a daily issue, and Mr. Krehbiel had been its proprietor and manager for the past twenty years. Mr. Krehbiel had been a resident of Kansas since he was nine years of age, and was born at Denmark, Iowa, December 11, 1870. His parents were John J. and Anna (Leisy) Krehbiel. John J. Krehbiel was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, May 3, 1838, but when two years of age was taken to Lee County, Iowa. His father, Rev. John C. Krehbiel, a native of Germany, was a cabinet maker, farmer and sawmill man in Iowa, and was throughout his life active in the Mennonite Church, which he served as an elder and preacher. John J. Krehbiel grew up in Iowa, and at the age of twenty-six went to New York State, where he attended school a year. The Civil war was then in progress, and it being contrary to the teachings of his church to bear arms, he entered the employ of the Federal army in the quartermaster’s department as a wagon maker. He remained in the service until the close of the war. Following that he engaged in his trade and established a business at Denmark, Iowa, where he remained until 1879. In that year he made the removal to Kansas, establishing a carriage and wagon works at Newton, and enjoyed a successful business career until he retired...

Biography of Bigler B. Basore

Bigler B. Basore. When he first came to Kansas a number of years ago Mr. Basore was in the role of teacher, and he did some successful school work as teacher and principal in several communities. He had been a farmer, traveling salesman, and is now a leading banker at Lyons, being cashier of the People’s State Bank of that city. Mr. Basore was born at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in September, 1873, a son of Peter and Rosa (Bigler) Basore. His grandfather, Peter Basore, was born at Marseilles, France, in 1807, came to America in early life, and for many years followed farming in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1875. He married Mary Curtis, who was born at Frankfort, Germany, in 1809, and died in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1889. Peter Basore, father of the Lyons banker, was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1851 and spent his active career there as a farmer. He died in Franklin County in 1900, at the age of forty-nine. He was a republican and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His wife, Rosa Bigler, was born in Franklin County in 1853, and was an infant when her father, William Bigler, died. William Bigler was a native of Pennsylvania, of German descent, and was one of Pennsylvania’s distinguished sons, having been honored with the office of governor. He died at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Rosa Bigler Basore died in Franklin County in 1915. Bigler B. was the oldest of her three children, and the only son. Annie E. is the wife of Harry Dougherty, a farmer in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, while...

Biography of George G. Green

George G. Green, cashier of the Citizens State Bank of Little River, represents a pioneer family of Rice County, and had spent nearly all his life in this locality. He was born near Lexington, Missouri, November 16, 1869. His paternal ancestors came out of England and were colonists in Virginia. His grandfather, George Green, became a pioneer farmer in Western Illinois and died at Quincy in that state before George G. was born. The founder of the family in Kansas was William Green, father of the Little River banker. He was born at Quincy, Illinois, in 1831, grew up there, and in 1861 enlisted in the Second Illinois Cavalry for service in the Civil war. He gave practically four years of service as a soldier, substituting for another after his own term of enlistment had expired. Among other campaigns he was with Sherman on the famous march to the sea. He was twice wounded, bullets entering either side of the abdomen, and he carried those reminders of the war with him until he died. Immediately after the war he went to Lexington, Missouri, and engaged in farming and in 1873 arrived in Rice County, Kansas, where he homesteaded 160 acres 3½ miles east of Little River. He also took up and developed a timber claim, and thus had 320 acres. The old homestead is still part of his estate. He was a successful man, though he suffered much from the injuries received in war, and he finally sought skilled medical attention in Kansas City, Missouri, where he died in 1891, at the age of sixty. He was a republican...
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