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Biography of James R. Gristy

James R. Gristy, of Emporia, is one of the real old timers of Kansas. Half a century ago he was engaged in farming and stock raising on a large scale in Johnson County. For many years he had been a successful real estate operator, and had enjoyed prominence in a business and civic way not only in Kansas but in Oklahoma and in other western states. Born in Brown County, Illinois, August 31, 1841, he grew up in that section, gained a public school education, graduating from the high school at Rushville, Illinois, in 1863. His first experiences led him into merchandising, and he spent four years at Mounds, Illinois. In the fall of 1866 he came to Kansas with his father, and in the neighborhood of Spring Hill they acquired 360 acres of land, and subsequently increased their holdings until they owned 1,200 acres. This they operated as a large farm and stock ranch for a number of years. In 1879, the father having retired, they both removed to Kansas City, where James R. Gristy established an office and built up an extensive business in real estate. In 1892 he left Kansas City and moved to the territory of Oklahoma, acquiring a large amount of land at Miami, and in many ways helped to promote that young town, which when he went there had less than fifty population. His home was in that section of Oklahoma until 1910. Mr. Gristy then removed to Spokane, Washington, and soon afterwards to Govan, Washington, where for two years he was engaged in raising wheat on a large scale. He then returned...

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