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Biography of Daniel B. Cowie

Daniel B. Cowie. In an article on other pages of this publication will be found some account of the salt industry in Kansas and some mention of the more prominent mines and companies. One of the most striking figures in the development of the salt industry in Kansas was the late James Cowie, Sr., and the above named is a son of that salt pioneer and is now general superintendent of the Independent Salt Company at Kanopolis. The Cowie family are Scotch people, and in Scotland they were also identified with mining. The grandfather of Daniel was George Cowie, who spent his life in Scotland and was a successful coal contractor. James Cowie, Sr., was born in Stirlingshire, Scotland, in 1839. He grew up and married there and from an early age was a coal miner. Prior to his coming to America he was general manager for one of the largest coal companies in Scotland, having supervision over ten diffierent coal properties. On coming to the United States in 1884 he entered the employ of the H. C. Frick Coal Company at Connellsville, Pennsylvania. James Cowie, Sr., came to Kanopolis, Kansas, in 1889. The credit is given him for originating the salt mining industry of Kansas and he was known in the press and to the general public as the “salt king.” As manager of the Royal Salt Company he put in the first salt mine in Kansas just east of the city limits of Kanopolis. He managed that company until 1905 and then organized the Crystal Salt Company, of which he was manager and part owner. He bought...

Biography of Cyrus F. Clapp

CYRUS F. CLAPP. – This leader in the business circles of the Lower Sound was born in Piscataquis county, Maine, July 29, 1851, and was the son of Stephen and Alvina Hunt Clapp. He lived in Maine until 1865, receiving the foundation of an education at the public school and continuing his studies at Hanover Academy of Massachusetts. Still ambitious for further acquirements, he crossed the Atlantic and spent two years at the Royal Institute of Belfast, Ireland, and completed his course at Saint Andrews College in Scotland. Returning to his home in America, he soon found a business situation in Boston, Massachusetts, in the house of Jordan, March & Company, of extensive fame. By 1870 he had reached the conclusion that the best place for young men of ability and ambition was in the great West, and in the spring of 1870 came to California, remaining during the summer, and finishing the journey to Port Townsend in the autumn. Although having no capital in money other than a five-dollar gold piece, he easily made financial headway, first accepting a position as clerk in the Cosmopolitan Hotel, and later as clerk in the lace house of D. Samuels, in San Francisco, and again as hotel clerk. He accumulated means sufficient to purchase of J.J. Hunt the Cosmopolitan, and in 1876 assumed the proprietorship of the hotel. In this semi-public capacity he made himself of great service to the city, maintaining a management ever sagacious and popular, and preserving a refined sanitary and dietary regime. Disposing of this property in 1879, he entered into merchandising in New Dungeness; and in...

Biography of Don Francis Reed

Don Francis Reed has been identified with Harper, Kansas, successively as a blacksmith, farmer and lawyer. Admitted to the bar a little more than two years ago he had won his spurs in his first legal contest, and is now well established with a general clientage drawn from all over Harper County. Mr. Reed was born at Logansport, Indiana, January 10, 1887, and is a member of a family that had three living generations. He is of Scotch ancestry. His great-grandfather, Herriman Reed, was born in Scotland, came to this country in early times, settling in Philadelphia, and died there. By trade he was a cooper. The grandfather of the Harper lawyer is Charles Reed, who was born in Jay County, Indiana, in 1846, and had spent all his life in that section of Eastern Indiana as a farmer. He had been identified with the republican party for many years, and saw 3½ years of active service with an Indiana regiment of infantry in the Civil war. He was at the second battle of Bull Run, where he was shot through the arm, and later participated in the Atlanta campaign and was at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain and other engagements. He married Miss Wright, who was born in Pennsylvania and died in Jay County, Indiana. Ten of their children are still living, namely: Sarah, wife of S. C. Milton, a farmer in Jay County, Indiana; F. H. Reed; James J., an oil well driller near Portland, Oregon; William M., who is also in the oil well business in Oregon; Solon M., a merchant at Portland, Indiana; Sallie, wife...

Biography of James R. Vance

James R. Vance, sole proprietor of the J. R. Vance Iron Works, of Geneva, and the inventor of a number of patented devices in the boiler making industry, is a fine example of what may be accomplished by unaided effort and a never-ceasing ambition. His grandfather, John Vance, was a Methodist minister in Scotland, and as his father died when he was a very young lad, he was thrown upon his own resources, which developed the sterling qualities with which he was liberally endowed. James R. Vance was born in Scotland, April 4, 1849. His school instruction was limited, as he was obliged to go to work in earnest at the early age of ten years. He supplemented his deficiencies in education by means of night lessons and ardent home study, and occupied all his spare moments, which were few, in this laudable manner. At this tender age he found employment in the coal mines until he was sixteen years of age, when he emigrated to America, landing in New York City, and going from thence to Pennsylvania. He commenced to learn the trade of boiler making and since that time has been actively connected with that field of industry. He came to Geneva, New York, in 1876, and obtained the position of superintendent of the New York Central Iron Works Company, which he held for twenty-seven years. In 1897 he established a plant of his own, under the name of the Vance Boiler Works. His plant is now (1910) known as the J. 1. Vance Iron Works, and he is the sole proprietor and manager, as above stated....

Biographical Sketch of James Lauder

(I) James Lauder, immigrant ancestor in this country, located with his wife Jane at Florida, Montgomery county, New York, coming thither from their home in Scotland. Among their children was John A., mentioned elsewhere.

Biographical Sketch of McKnabb, John

Santa Fe Prisoner John McKnabb, one more of those unfortunate ones who accompanied the disastrous Santa Fe expedition in 1841, was a native of Scotland, and came to Fort Bend County in 1837. He was at Austin during the early building of that place, when the Indians harassed the few settlers almost continually. In 1841, when the expedition to Santa Fe was inaugurated, John McKnabb was there, and volunteered, as many other young men did, for the perilous trip, and suffered all the hardships of the long march across the plains and sandy deserts; want of water and provisions being the main cause of their sufferings while making their way through to the line of New Mexico. They were all finally captured by the Mexicans and carried to old Mexico, where they worked on the streets, lay in dungeons, and suffered all manner of indignities at the hands of their captors for nearly two years before they were finally released and al-lowed to come home. On the return trip Mr. McKnabb took shipping at Vera Cruz and came to Galveston, and from there to Richmond, Fort Bend County. He died in 1894, and was buried on his farm on the Brazos River, five miles above Richmond. He has one son, A. D. McKnabb, now in the saddlery business in...

Biographical Sketch of Hector Baxter

Hector Baxter, a farmer of Maple Township, Ida County, Iowa, was born in Argyleshire, Scotland, June 16, 1834. His parents were John and Mary (McNeil) Baxter, natives also of that country where they lived and died. Hector was reared and educated in Scotland where he learned and followed the trade of shoemaker for many years. In 1877, he left his native land for the United States, and after landing in New York, purchased and improved 160 acres of wild land in Tama County, Iowa. He sold this land in 1881, and bought 320 acres in Ida County. He built a two-story, eight-room house, along with a barn. He engaged in farming and stock-raising, making a specialty of shorthorn cattle. He was married at the age of 25 years to Margaret Stuart, a daughter of John and Helen (Cockburn) Stuart of Scotland. Mr. And Mrs. Baxter had seven children, namely: Nellie (wife of Dr. F. B. Warnock), John, James, William, Mary, Hector M. and...

Biographical Sketch of John Harrison

John Harrison, one of the early pioneers of Douglas Township, Ida County, Iowa, was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, in December, 1824, a son of James and Elizabeth (Clendening) Harrison, natives also of that county. He moved to Scotland with his parents when a lad and was raised and educated there. In 1845, John was united in marriage to Jeanette Stevenson at Argyleshire, Scotland, near Glasgow. Her father was Peter Stevenson. In 1855, he came to the United States, locating in New York, but afterwards he engaged in a sawmill for J. Irvin at Savanna, Carroll Co., Illinois. In 1864, Mr. Harrison enlisted in the Civil War, in Co. C, Eighth Illinois Cavalry. He was wounded in he cheek and honorably discharged at Benton Barracks, Missouri, after the close of the struggle. In 1868, he took a pre-emption claim on Section 2, Douglas Township, Ida County, Ia., and at that time Douglas Township only had 6 votes. He went to Sioux City, Iowa, with ox team to mill; often killed deer where Holstein, Iowa, Ida County, now stands. There was only one family between his home and Ida Grove. Mr. Harrison’s house was the stopping place for travelers, and was also a stage station. The Sioux river flows through the farm, and Mr. Harrison is engaged in general farming and stock-raising. He has a registered shire horse. Jeanette and John had 6 living children: Elizabeth, Thomas, Mary Jane, David, Addie Geddes (a successful teacher of Washta, Cherokee Co., Iowa), and Mathew M. (an artist and painter by profession). They lost one son, James, at Savanna, Illinois. He was a...

Biography of David Nicoll

Rev. D. Nicoll, a minister of the United Presbyterian Church & a prominent farmer in Battle Twp., Ida Co., Iowa, was born in Delaware Co., New York, Feb. 22, 1841. He was the son of Andrew & Margaret (George) Nicoll. Andrew Nicoll was born in Scotland in 1797 and was reared and married there, and in 1839 emigrated to America and located in Delaware County, New York, where the rest of his life was spent, engaged in farming pursuits. He died in 1870. Andrew and Margaret’s ten children were: Elizabeth (wife of John Beckwith, Delaware Co., N. Y.); William (married in Delaware Co., N. Y.); James; Andrew (married, living on a farm in Cedar County, Iowa); Margaret (wife of John G. Russell of Delaware County, N. Y.); Ann (wife of Allen Elijah, Cedar County, Iowa); Christina (widow of John Imroe, Cedar County, Iowa); David; Jane (wife of William Imrie, Napa, Ca.); and Jeanette (wife of L. D. Boyd, of Corwin Twp., Ida County, Iowa). Mr. Nicoll was reared on a farm in Delaware County. In 1861, he entered Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, Pa., and after finishing his sophomore year, enlisted on August 29, 1862 at Pittsburgh, Pa., in Knapp’s Battery for a term of three years, or during the war. He was assigned to the Army of the Potomac and was in the battles of Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Wahachie. October 28, 1863, he received a gunshot wound in his right shoulder, after which he was in field hospital near Chattanooga and at Murfreesboro till January, 1864. January 2, he received a furlough, returned to New York, and remained there...
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