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Biographical Sketch of Benjamin Harding

For many years Benjamin Harding was a leading free-soil man and a resident of Doniphan County, Kansas. A native of Otsego County, New York, born in November, 1815, at the age of twenty-five he became a resident of Livingston County, Missouri, and in 1842 entered the Indian trade at the Great Nemaha Agency. He moved to St. Joseph in 1849, but re-entered the Indian trade at Wathena, Kansas, in 1852. In 1854, while serving there as a judge of election he incurred the enmity of the pro-slavery people, and twice reported at Leavenworth to answer charges brought against him, which were finally dismissed. He was a delegate to the Big Springs convention of 1855; served in the Territorial Council in 1857, 1858 and 1859; was a member of the Railroad convention of 1860, and held the office of register of deeds of Doniphan County in 1862-66, after which he passed a somewhat retired life. He died at his home in Wathena, January 15,...

Biography of William R. Martin

William R. Martin is a native of Doniphan County, for many years was connected with a packing house at St. Joseph, and more recently had applied his efforts successfully to fruit growing and farming, which he still earries on in connection with his duties as postmaster at Wathena. His birth occurred near Wathena April 12, 1861. His full given name was William Redman Martin. Mr. Martin is descended originally from Scotch-Irish stock. There were two brothers of the name who immigrated to America during the early Colonial period, one of them settling in the North and the other going South and joined the Huguenot Colonies of the Western Carolinas. Mr. Martin’s grandfather, William Martin, who was born in Tennessee in 1774, two years before the Declaration of Independence, was one of the pioneers of Missouri, having gone to that state in 1819 about the time it was admitted to the Union. He first lived in what was then called Chariton County, but subsequently went to Northern or Northwestern Missouri, and was one of the very early pioneers in Livingston County, where he located in 1835. He was the fifth county judge in Livingston County. He died in that county in 1851, long before the pioneer epoch had closed. The early Methodist conferences in Missouri were held at William Martin’s home and he also had a camp ground on his farm that was known as the Martin Camp Meeting Ground. In those early days the family relied chiefly on corn pone and venison for sustenance. William Martin married Anna Duncan on September 5, 1797. The founder of the family in...

Biography of Charles R. Hewins

Charles R. Hewins is in point of continuous service one of the oldest educators in Kansas. His work had been accomplished almost entirely within the limits of Doniphan County. For thirty years he had been connected with the schools of that county and in November, 1916, he was elected county superintendent, beginning May 14, 1917. Mr. Hewins represents a pioneer family of Northeastern Kansas, and his own birth occurred near Wathena on December 1, 1866. His family were Colonial settlers in Maine from England. His grandfather, John A. Hewins, Sr., was a native of Maine, followed farming in that state all his life and died at Augusta in 1879. He married Roxanna Day, also a native of Maine, who died near Augusta. J. A. Hewins, father of Professor Hewins, was born near Augusta, Maine, in 1828, grew up in the Pine Tree State and arrived in Kansas in the spring of 1866, the same year that his son Charles R. was born. He was one of the early farmers in the vicinity of Wathena, and supent many industrious years in that locality, where he died in 1914. He was an old soldier of the Union, having enlisted from Iowa in 1861 in Company I of the Twenty-first Iowa Infantry. He was through all the war and most of his service was on the western border along the Mississippi. He participated in the movement to keep Price’s army out of Kansas. Politically he was a republican and was a member of the Baptist Church. J. A. Hewins married Susan Rappelye, who was born near Penn Yan, New York, in 1843...

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