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Biography of John Porter

John Porter. This is the name of one of the old pioneers of Kansas territory. It was fifty-seven years ago when he established his first home within the limits of the presant Shawnee County and there began working out his own destiny and to some extent the destiny of Kansas as a free state and the welfare of his children. It is a name that will always be spoken with respect, and those who bear it in the future will have reason to congratulate themselves in the splendid character of their pioncor Kansas ancostor, John Portor. He was a native of England, born July 11, 1822, and was the only member of his immediate family to come to America. His early life was spent on a farm and his education was limited. Soon after his marriage in England to Mary Ann Lunn he started for the United States. It was his belief that the better economic conditions of America would enable him to find a home for himself, and in later years that ambition was well renlized. A sailing vessel brought him and his young wife across the ocean, and they were six weeks two days in making the passage. Their first home in Amerles was at Monroeville, Ohio. Soon after their arrival their first child, Henry, was born. They next moved to Bellevue, Ohio. John Porter came to America a poor many. During the few years apont in Ohio he prospered so far as to acoumulated property to the value of about $600. While he was living in Ohio the people of that state and the entire country...

Biography of Walter Ashton Smith

Walter Ashton Smith. Among the able and successful business men of Topeka, Walter Ashton Smith occupies a foremost place, for years being financially and officially connected with large enterprises in Shawnee and Decatur counties. As the vice president and treasurer of the Farm Mortgage Company, Mr. Smith is interested and influential in one of the largest corporations of its kind in the state. Walter Ashton Smith was born at Monroeville, Huron County, Ohio, February 16, 1864, and is a son of Welding E. and Charlotte (Ashton) Smith. Welding E. Smith was born at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in which city he attended the public schools until eighteen years of age when he became an apprentice to the machinist’s trade. He was a natural mechanic and possessed inventive genius and after removal to Ohio went into the business of manufacturing farm implements, having secured patents on a number of his inventions. When the Civil war broke out he gave financial aid to the Union but was prevented from becoming a soldier because of the loss of his left eye, the sight of which had been destroyed by a fragment of flying steel in his foundry. He continued in the manufacturing business until his death although during his later years confined himself to the manufacture of felloes for use on the rims of wagon and buggy wheels. He was an industrious, temperate, moral man, respected and esteemed by all who knew him. He married Charlotte Ashton, of English ancestry. She was born in Ohio, September 19, 1837, and still resides near the old homestead of her father, Thomas Ashton, who was one of...

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