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Biography of Charles F. Spencer

Charles F. Spencer. One of the most prominent among the coal operators of Pittsburg, Kansas, is Charlos F. Spencer, under whose able and experienced management a number of the leading, coal companies are being conducted. Mr. Spencer has been identified with this line of business all his life, and few men have a more thorough or more intimate knowledge of the industry. He was born in Cherokee County, Kansas, January 14, 1873, and is a son of J. W. and Ambrosia (Favor) Speneer. The branch of the Spencer family to which Mr. Spencer belongs had its origin in England, from which country the first American ancestor emigrated in Colonial times to Vermont, from whence members of the family have journeyed to many other states. His grandfather, Daniel Spencer, was born in 1810, in Vermont, and went as a young man to Illinois as a pioneer, there following farming and stock raising until his death, which occurred at Centralia, Illinois, in 1883. J. W. Spencer was born at East St. Louis, Illinois, in 1840, and in 1862 enlisted in the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, with which he served for three years, principally along the border, his numerous engagements including the battle of Pea Ridge. At the close of his military service he returned to Illinois, but in 1866 came to Kansas and settled in Cherokee County, where for many years he dealt in cattle and farmed. He is now living in retirement at Columbus. He is a republican in politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has held all the lay offices. Mr. Spencer married Miss...

Biography of James Abram Garfield Shirk

James Abram Garfield Shirk. Now professor of mathematics in the Manual Training Normal School at Pittsburg, Mr. Shirk has filled many important positions in the public schools and colleges of Kansas, and is a recognized authority on his special subject. A native of Kansas, he was born at McPherson January 12, 1881. His ancestry is Swiss German. The first of the name came from Switzerland to Pennsylvania in colonial days. His grandfather, John Shirk, spent his life in Pennsylvania, was a farmer, and he also contributed fame to the family name by his service in the War of 1812. He was one of the fighting sailors on the flagship of Commodore Perry in the historic battle with the British on Lake Erie. He was one of the six men who, after the flagship Lawrence was disabled, went with Commodore Perry in a small boat to the ship Niagara, while the battle was still raging. For this distinguished service in assisting to drive the British fleet from the waters of the Great Lakes he was afterwards awarded a medal by Congress. Joseph Shirk, father of Professor Shirk, was born near Meadville in Pennsylvania in 1833. He was rearded and married in his native state, was engaged for a number of years in the lumber business, and he drilled the first well in the Oil Creek oil fields of Pennsylvania. He was one of the pioneers in the oil industry. Afterwards he lived for varying lengths of time in the states of Illinois, Nebraska and was an early settler at McPherson. In that town he was at first in the grain...

Biography of Alva C. Starr

Alva C. Starr. For the past twelve years the grocery establishemnt of Alva C. Starr, at No. 710 North Broadway, has been considered in the light of a necessary commercial adjunct by the people of Pittsburg. Many causes contribute to the success of this popular merchant, not the least of which are a thorough knowledge of his business and a determination to keep his particular branch thereof up to the highest known standard. Mr. Starr belongs to that element of business men who have made their own way to success, without the aid of outside influences, and his high standing in trade and business circles evidences the well-directed manner in which his operations have been prosecuted. Mr. Starr was born on a farm in Vermilion County, Illinois, January 14, 1871, and is a son of S. P. and Maria Jane (Partlow) Starr. The family is of German extraction, the original American emigrant locating in North Carolina during colonial times. Peter Starr, grandfather of Alva C., was born in the Old North State, but as a young man went to Vermilion County, Illinois, where he was a pioneer farmer, and where his death occurred before the birth of his grandson. S. P. Starr was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, in 1831, and was there reared on his father’s farm and educated in the primitive schools of the day and locality. He followed farming there, and also for a time engaged in mercantile pursuits, and in 1877 became a pioneer farmer of Montgomery County, where he owned a property in the vicinity of Cherryvale. This he cultivated with success until 1881,...

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