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Biographical Sketch of David E. Ballard

A native of Franklin County, Vermont, David E. Ballard is a leading citizen and a prosperous farmer of Washington, and looks back with still keen interest to the days of nearly sixty years ago, when he assisted in the civil organization of his county and his state. He was born March 20, 1837, of English and Revolutionary ancestors. When he was a boy his father, Appleton Ballard, moved to Morrow County, Ohio, not to cultivate the land, but to provide his family with a home while he fared forth on the high seas of the East. While thus engaged, he was murdered and robbed in the harbor of Halifax, after he had disposed of his cargo. In May, 1857, when he had but just entered his twenty-first year, David E. Ballard located in Brown County, Kansas, and in the following year moved to Washington County, which was then on the point of organization. In fact, he assisted in that work, and was the first county clerk. In 1859 he was elected to the House of Representatives of the first State Legislature (1861), and in the senatorial election was an active partisan of James H. Lane. He joined the ranks of the Second Kansas Infantry in November, 1861, and in the following year was made first lientenant, being mustered out of the service, in February, 1865. He was in the battles of Fort Wayne, Fort Smith, Cane Hill and Prairie Grove. Mr. Ballard was appointed a commissioner to audit the Price raid claims, in 1867, and during the succeeding two years served as an assessor of internal revenue. He was...

Biographical Sketch of Ira Mahaffey

Ira Mahaffey has for two terms, two years each, been the affable and courteous clerk of the District Court at Concordia. Few people entirely appreciate the ability and tact required for the successful administration of such an office. Not only must the records be properly kept, legible and correct and easily grasped by the ordinary mind, but the clerk himself must be accommodating and at all times genial and attentive to those who have business with his office. All these qualities Mr. Mahaffey possesses and more too. Politically he is a republican, and while he is a strong believer in his party and its principles, he does not fail to admit that other party beliefs have good ideas and character. Prior to his election as District Court elerk Mr. Mahaffey served as deputy clerk of the court one year, and was deputy county clerk for two years, one year under a republican and one year under a democratic clerk. In the fall of 1916 he was elected for a third term to his present office. Ira Mahaffey was born in Washington County, Kansas, October 30, 1883, a son of Samuel and Emma J. Mahaffey. His parents made permanent settlement in Kansas in 1879, but his father had homesteaded a claim in this state as early as 1870. Samuel Mahaffey was a veteran of the Civil war, having served as a private in Company H of the Thirtieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was in the army more than three years, and while in service lost his right leg in a railroad wreck, and was subsequently given his honorable discharge. In...

Biography of J. Harry Barley

J. Harry Barley is proprietor and publisher of the Republican-Register, the oldest newspaper in Washington County, and still one of the most sucessful newspapers in the state. Mr. Barley is a young newspaper man, and prior to the purchase of the Republican-Register his experience was chiefly in education and banking. The Republican-Register is the direct and lineal descendant of the Western Observer, which was founded at Washington in March, 1869. Its publisher was Mark J. Kelly. Mr. Kelly had come to Washington through the influence of Col. Dave Ballard, who gave him a bonus of ten town lots to start a local newspaper. The first number of the Western Observer was published March 11, 1869. It was the first paper published in Washington County. It was issued from a hand press, and the sheet measured 7 by 9 inches. Its influence was by no means measured by its size. Mr. Kelly was a very fair and impartial editor and made his journal a medium of attracting many substantial people to this section of the state. His paper circulated through all parts of the East, and many of the best settlers in Washington County heard of the section through the Observer, May 21, 1870, the Observer was sold to George W. Shriner and James F. Tallman, its name being changed to the Magnet. August 25, 1870, Mark J. Kelly, the former editor, with J. O. Young, founded the Washington republican, and for about a month in the same year a daily edition of the paper was issued, this being the first daily in the county. On January 9, 1871, Mr....

Biography of Leroy E. Sawin

Leroy E. Sawin. For a young man Leroy E. Sawin had come into large prominence and responeibility in Washington County, where he is now filling the office of county clerk. To this office Mr. Sawin brought qualifications and ability far in advance of his years. He is one of the local men entrusted with the grave responsibility of raising the local quots for the National American Army. He was a member of the registration board of the county and was on the exemption board until removed on account of draft age, sharing that responsibility with Dr. Henry D. Smith and Sheriff D. W. McLeod. Mr. Sawin represents an old family in this section of Kansas and both his father and grandfather are still living here. Leroy was born at Home City in Marshall County, May 17, 1890. His ancestors, the Sawins, were Scotch-Irish people and immigrated from islands near England to New York State in pioneer times. Mr. Sawin’s grandfather was Cassius Marcellus Sawin, who was born in New York State and for a number of years lived near Cleveland, Ohio, where he was a coal miner and business man. In about 1865 he brought his family to Kansas, homesteading 160 acres in Washington County six miles south of Greenleaf. That was his home for a number of years and he later bought a farm north of Waterville in Marshall County, and since selling that had lived retired in Waterville. Frank H. Sawin, father of the county elerk, was born in October, 1865, at Cleveland, Ohio, and a few weeks later was brought by his parents to Washington County,...

Biography of Mark H. Williams

Mark H. Williams, now living retired at Barnes and enjoying the accumulations of many well spent years, is a veteran of the Civil war and had been a resident of Barnes and of the State of Kansas since 1885. He is a native Pennsyivanian, and the family was introduced to that state from Scotland by his grandfather, Evan Williams, who was born in Scotland in 1771. He was a millwright by trade, and followed that occupation for many years in Pennsylvania. He died in Center County, of that state, in 1854. It was in Center County, Pennsylvania, that Mark H. Williams was born July 29, 1842. His father, John Williams, was born in Chester County, Penngylvania, in 1811, took up the same vocation as his father, and worked at that trade in Pennsylvania. His death occurred in Center County in 1876. He was a democrat and a member of the Lutheran Church. He married Catherine Watson, who was born in Clariou County, Pennsylvania, in 1813 and died in Center County in 1846. They had four children: Even Thomas, a blacksmith by trade who died in Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1873; Mark H.; Hannah Jane, who died in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, in 1897, and her husband, S. P. Davison, also deceased, was a lumberman; John Irving is a carpenter and contractor but is now postmaster of Lamont, Center County, Pennsylvanis. Mark H. Williams had a brief education in the public schools of Center County. He may be said to have supported himself since he was seven years of age. He worked on farms in his native county and in Jefferson...

Biography of Sylvanus Sylvester Longley

Sylvanus Sylvester Longley, now living retired at Greenleaf, is one of Kansas’ interesting personalities. Few men have succeedad in compressing even within eighty-three years of life so many varied activities and achievements. Mr. Longley traveled practically over all the habitable globe before he came to Kansas. He was a pioneer in this state, and his business and civic relations in Washington County have rolled up a wealth of esteem which he now enjoys in his declining years. Mr. Longley is a native of the Pine Tree state, born at Foxcroft, Maine, September 15, 1834. He is of old English ancestry, the Longleys having identified themselves with the colony of Massachusetts. His grandfather, Zachariah Longley, was born at Groton, Massachusetts, helped the colomies fight for independence during the Revolution, and subsequently became a pioneer farmer in the State of Maine. He died at Foxcroft in this state before Sylvanus S. was born. Capt. Sylvanus Longley, father of the Greenleaf citizen, was born at Groton, Massachusetts, in 1797. He grew up and married in his native state, and then removed to Foxcroft, Maine, and located on land which his father had taken up some years previously. His active life was spént as a farmer, partly in Foxcroft and partly in Dover. He identified himself with the whig party in politics, and at one time held the office of town trustee of Foxcroft and was also a captain in the Maine militia. Captain Longley married Miss Oreinda Garland, who was born in Massaschusetts in 1799 and spent her last days on the farm of her son Sylvanus near Greenleaf, Kansas, where she...

Biography of Edward A. Hood

Edward A. Hood, cashier of the Greenleaf State Bank, had had an active career in Kansas for a number of years, at first in the lumber business and leter as a banker. Mr. Hood did not begin life as the son of a wealthy family, but had gained his opportanities by hard work and constant vigilance. He was born at Salem, Arkansas, October 5, 1878. His ancestors in the paternal line were Scotch people. His grandfather, Graham W. Hood, was born in Scotland, came to this country when a young man and settled in Missouri among the pioneers, and for a number of years was engaged in outfltting freighting trains across the plains. He died at Sedalia, Missouri, more than forty years ago. G. W. Hood, father of Edward A, was born at Sedalis, Missouri, in 1842, and was reared and married in that state. In 1863, at the age of twenty one, he enlisted in the Seventh Missouri Cavalry, a Union regiment, and was with it until the close of the war, fighting whackers and also in the campaign against Price through Missouri and Kansas. After the war he entered railroading and also took up the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. From Missouri he went to Salem, Arkansas, thence to Little Rock, and in 1890 moved to Stockton, Kansas. He had been retired from the ministry since 1908 and had lived at Tescont, Kansas, since 1906. He is a republican and a member of the Masonic fraternity. Rev. Mr. Hood married Agnes Mack, who was born in Tennessce in 1949. She was the mother of seven children....

Biography of William James Phillips M. D.

William James Phillips, M. D. The community of Beaumont, Kansas, esteems Dr. William J. Phillips as its pioneer physician and surgeon and as a man whose capable efforts have been directed through a long period of years largely to the service of his fellow men. Doctor Phillips had gained his best recognition in a comparatively limited community, and had been well satisfied to do his work there and to merit the esteem and respect of those closest to him. Many men more widely known have not accomplished so much in that work which is so vitally necessary to human welfare. Doctor Phillips comes of ancestors who were originally people of Wales, came to America in Colonial times, and in one generation after another the family extended itself across the country, first to Ohio, later to Iowa and in the person of Doctor Phillips to Kansas, Doctor Phillips was born in Washington County, Iowa, October 2, 1856. He also had some Irish blood, since his paternal grandmother came from Ireland when she was nine years of age. His father, George Phillips, was born in Ohio, February 10, 1814, and died at Daytonville, Iowa, February 6, 1873. His death occurred at the age of fifty-eight years, eleven months, twenty-six days. He grew up on an Ohio farm, lived in that state until about twenty-one years of age, and about 1835 went to Illinois, first to Sangamon County and afterward to Schuyler County. From there he moved to Iowa and was one of the early pionesrs in Washington County. He followed farming in early life, afterward was a merchant, and at the...

Biography of Damian Lavery, Rev.

Rev. Damian Lavery, director of St. Benedict’s College at Atchison, is a graduate of that institution and had been actively connected with it as an instructor since his ordination as a priest fourteen years ago. Father Lavery was born in Benson, Vermont, February 17, 1878, but had lived in Kansas since early infancy. His father, John Lavery, who was born in Connanght, Ireland, in 1835, came to this country when a young man, located in Vermont, was married there, and for many years followed his trade as a mechanic and employment as a railroad man. In 1879 he brought his family to Kansas, and was one of the early settlers at Hanover, where he followed his trade until 1903. Since then he had lived retired at Hanover. He is a democrat and a member of the Catholic Church. John Lavery married Alice Ryan, who was born in 1842 and died at Hanover, Kansas, in 1912. Their seven children were: Patrick, an engineer of the St. Joseph and Grand Island Railroad Company, living at Hanover; Cornelins, who was a locomotive engineer and died at Hanover at the age of thirty; Father Damian; Margaret, with her father; Richard, a locomotive engineer living at Hanover; John, who had also taken up railroad work, is an engineer and lives at Hanover; Louis, who died in infancy. Father Lavery was educated in the parochial schools of Hanover and then entered St. Benedict’s College at Atchison. He was enrolled as a student in 1889, and remained until graduating in 1896. He then entered St. Benedict’s Seminary, where he completed the theological course in 1902. He...

Biography of Jesse M. Foster

Jesse M. Foster, a native Kansan, had been a practical newspaper man since leaving college. He is now proprietor and publisher of the Clifton News, one of the oldest papers in continuous publication in Washington County. This paper was established in December, 1885, by J. M. and J. C. Padgett. It was first known as the Local News. It was changed to the Clifton News in 1891 by L. A. Palmer, then the publisher. The successive owners and publishers were I. C. Ware, one year, A. Q. Miller, two years, N. F. Hewitt, Stoy E. Ware, Burt Fraser, P. M. Harmon, Best & Murdoek, later Best alone, and from him Mr. Foster bought the plant. The paper is published at the corner of Willow and Parallel streets. It is a republican paper and had a circulation over Clay, Washington and surrounding counties. Mr. Foster was born at Clifton, Kansas, February 26, 1888. He is of old American stock. The Fosters came from England to Pennsylvania in colonial times and some of the family served in the Revolutionary war. The grandfather, John W. Foster, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1798, married a woman whose ancestors came from Saxony, Germany, to Pennsylvania. John W. Foster was one of the early settlers in that historle City of Galena, Hlinois, the home of General Grant before the war. He went from there to California in the days of ’49 and spent three years as a successful prospector and miner, accumulating a handsome fortune of $200,000 in gold. After returning to the States he became a merchant at St. Paul, Minnesota, but finally...
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