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Biographical Sketch of James F. Legate

James F. Legate was a leading citizen of Leavenworth for nearly forty years, and during the active period of his life few men in the state were better known in legislative affairs. He was a native of Massachusetts, born in Worcester County, November 23, 1829, in the house built by his paternal ancestor five generations preceding him, and on land deeded to that ancestry by the Engilsh government in the reign of George H. His father was a captain in command of a privateer in the War of 1812, and on both maternal and paternal sides were numerous representatives of the patriot cause. After a short course in law Mr. Legate went to Mississippi, where he taught school, entered politics and in 1852, as a member of the State Legislature, espoused the cause of Senator Foote against Jefferson Davis. In 1854, while in Washington, Mr. Legate met Mr. Davis, then secretary of war, who gave him a letter to Col. E. V. Sumner, stationed at Fort Leavenworth, but when he arrived in Kansas in July and “looked around” he decided to make Lawrence his home. He was active in his espousal of the freestate cause, and was elected to the First House of Representatives under the Wyandotte constitution. In the following year he was appointed United States assessor, and in November, 1863, he moved to Leavenworth, which remained his home city until his death, August 4, 1902. In addition to his service in the Legislature of 1861, he was a member of the State Senate of 1865 and 1866, and of the House in 1871, 1875, 1879, 1881 and...

Biographical Sketch of Samuel C. Pomeroy

Samuel C. Pomeroy, one of the leaders of Kansas in the times of her free-state travail whose political ambition overleaped his sense of honor, was born in Southampton, Massachusetts, January 3, 1816. When a young man be became strongly imbued with antislavery sentiments. He happened to be present when President Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and is said to have remarked to the nation’s chief executive: “Your victory is but an adjournment of the question from the halls of legislation at Washington to the open prairies of the Freedom-loving West, and there, sir, we shall beat you.” So earnest was Mr. Pomeroy in the matter that in August, 1854, he started for Kansas with a colony of 200 emigrants pledged to the free-state cause. On September 6th they crossed the line at Kansas City, bound for Lawrence, but Pomeroy settled at Atchison. He spent much of his time canvassing the eastern states for the free-state cause in Kansas, and in 1861 was intrusted with a large fund raised for the sufferers by drought. Upon the admission of the state into the Union, in that year, he was elected to the United State Senate and re-elected in 1867. At the republican nominating convention for a third term, before which he was a candidate, Senator A. M. York of Montgumery County denounced Mr. Pomeroy for bribery, and turned over the $7,000 paid by the latter for his support, to the presiding officer. The result was that John J. Ingalls received the almost unaimous vote of the convention, and Mr. Pomeroy’s political aspirations were killed. He died at Whitinsville, Massachusetts, August 27,...

Biographical Sketch of Abel C. Wilder

Abel C. Wilder, prominent in the free-soil movements of Kansas Territory, in the establishment of the republican party within its limits and the founding of the commonwealth, was born at Mendon, Massachusetts, March 18, 1828. With little book learning, he early became identified with business at Rochester, New York, and did much to found its public library. While still a resident of the East, the Kansas question enlisted his deep interest and sympathy, and he came to the territory at his first opportunity in March, 1857. Engaging in the land business at Leavenworth, he at once became prominent in that line, as well as an earnest opponent of the Lecompton constitution. Mr. Wilder was a delegate to the Osawatomie convention of May, 1859; afterward became secretary of the first republican central committee, and chairman in 1860 and 1862. He served as chairman of the Kansas delegation to the national republican convention held at Chicago in 1860, being a strong supporter of Seward. President Lincoln appointed him a brigade commissary in August, 1861, with headquarters at Fort Scott. He was elected a member of the Thirty-eighth Congress in November, 1862, and declined a re-election in 1864. In the fall of 1865 he returned to Rochester, New York, and, with his brother, Daniel W. Wilder, engaged in the publication of the Evening Express. He was elected mayor of that city in 1873, but resigned the office because of ill health and, after a vain endeavor to regain it by travel, died in San Francisco, December 22,...

Biographical Sketch of Dr. Joseph P. Root

Dr. Joseph P. Root, who was one of the early physicians of Wyandotte, then a part of Leavenworth County, was born at Greenwich, Massachusetts, April 23, 1826, and died at Kansas City, Kansas, July 20, 1885. He was a member of the Connecticut-Kansas Colony, better known as the Beccher Bible and Bifle Company, which settled at Wahaunsee. He organized free-state forces and in every way identified himself with the early history of the torritory. As chairman of the Free-State Executive Committee, he located the road from Topeka to Nebraska City, thereby securing a safe route of travel for free-state immigrants. Doctor Root was sent East as agent to obtain arms and other assistance for the free soilers of Kansas and was very successful in his mission. On his return he located at Wyandotte and was there elected a member of the Council. In 1861 he was elected the first lieutenant-governor of the state; served in the Second Kansas as surgeon and was medical director of the Army of the Frontier. At the close of the war he returned to Wyandotte and resumed the practice of his profession, but was appointed minister of Chile in 1870. At the close of his term of office he again located in Wyandotte, of which he was a resident until his death, July 20,...

Biography of Josiah C. Trask

Josiah C. Trask was one of the 180 victims of the terrible Quantrill raid and massacre at Lawrence, on August 21, 1863. He was a young and brilliant editor at the time of his death and few men of Kansas were more beloved. His father was a minister, who preached in Massachnsetts for many years, and he himself was born at Warren, that state, May 9, 1837. He pursued an academic course at Fitchburg, and when sixteen years of age went to Boston, where he was employed as a printer in various newspaper offices. Through his father-in-law, Joel B. Hibbard, one of the founders of Cortland (New York) Academy, Mr. Trask imbibed strong anti-slavery convictions, and in February, 1857, in company with his brother, left New York for the Territory of Kansas. He first secured employment in the office of the Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, and in 1861, with Hovey E. Lowman, bought the paper and changed its name to the Kansas State Journal. Soon afterward he edited a paper at Topeka and published one at Yankton, Dakota. In the fall of 1862 he returned to New York, married and settled at Lawrence. In the following year, besides editing the Journal, he went as a delegate to the canal convention held in Chieago, and in the following July spent the Fourth, with his young bride, at Junction City. Arrangements had been completed for adding a daily issue to the Journal and the press arrived only a few days before his death. For several years he had done a large portion of the printing of the laws of Kansas, was...

Biography of Sidney Clarke

Sidney Clarke, one of the early members of Congress from Kansas, was born at Southbridge, Massachusetts. October 16. 1831, and in his early manhood published and edited a weekly newspaper which he had founded in his native town. He became an active free-soil advocate, supported Fremont in 1856. and three years later, upon the advice of his physician, went west and located at Lawrence. He hecame an ardent supporter of the radical wing of the free-state party, and in 1862 was elected to the State Legislature. The following year President Lincoln appointed him adjutant general of volunteers, and he was assigned to duty as acting assistant provost marshal general for the District of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Dakota, with headquarters at Fort Leavenworth. The same year he was made chairman of the Republican State Committee, a position previously held by the ablest of the old frcestate leaders. In 1864 he was elected to Congress and re-elected for two succseding terms, serving as chairman of the House Committee on Indian Affairs and a member of the Pacific Railroad Commission. He participated in all the leading conflicts which made the history of Congress memorable during the six years he was a member of that body. The defeat of the Osage Indian treaty and the passage of the Clarke bill saved to Kansas much of her public school lands. During his three terms in Congress Mr. Clarke was the only representative from Kansas and he referred proudly to himself as “the sole representative of my imperial state.” He was in Congress at the time of the assassination of President Lincoln, of whom...

Biography of Allen, Nathaniel Topliff

Allen, Nathaniel Topliff, son of Ellis and Lucy (Lane) Allen, was born in Medfield, Norfolk County, Sept. 29, 1823. His native homestead farm has been owned and tilled by seven generations of Allens, noted for longevity, sterling common-sense, and rugged worth; and there, during his boyhood, the subject of this sketch followed the pursuits of his ancestors, and laid the foundation of a vigorous constitution. Three years of his minority were spent in a Waltham cotton mill, where he acquired a knowledge of textile manufacture; he also received a good common-school education in the public schools, a family school kept by Rev. Joseph Allen at Northborough, and Northfield Academy. Having chosen to become a teacher, he continued his studies in the Bridgewater state normal school, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N. Y. He afterwards taught in the various public schools of Mansfield, Northborough, Northfield and Shrewsbury, until the spring of 1848, when he was appointed by Horace Mann, of the state board of education, to take charge of the model department of the normal school at West Newton. This position he filled with marked ability for nearly six years, when he established in connection with Rev. Cyrus Pierce, father of American normal schools, the institution of which he is now principal—the West Newton English and classical school. Mr. Allen has been one of the most progressive and successful educators of the last half-century, always advocating the liberal and thorough education of both sexes, and ready to introduce into his own school whatever proved to be sound in theory and useful in practice. This school, with its industrial department...

Biographical Sketch of Alger, Alpheus B.

Alger, Alpheus B., son of Edwin A. and Amanda (Buswell) Alger, was born in Lowell, Middlesex County, October 8, 1854. His early education was accomplished at the public schools of his native place. In the Lowell high school he fitted for college, and was graduated at Harvard with the class of 1875. The same year he entered the Harvard law school, and a year later continued the study of the law in the office of the Hon. Josiah G. Abbott of Boston. He was admitted to the bar in 1877, and began the practice of law in connection with his father’s firm, Brown & Alger, in the city of Boston, with his residence in Cambridge. Mr. Alger has been actively identified with the Democratic Party in politics. He has held the positions of chairman and secretary of the Democratic city committee of Cambridge. He is also a member of the congressional district committee. In 1884 he was chosen alderman, and acted on the committees on claims, police, ordinances, and a new bridge to Boston. In 1886 and ’87 he was a member of the Senate, serving as chairman on the committee on engrossed bills and mercantile affairs, and as member of the committees of public service, expediting legislative business, judiciary, bills on the third reading, rules and liquor law. He was also a member of the state committee sent to the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia. He is secretary and treasurer of the Bay State Club, a member of the Middlesex County Democratic Club, and of the Newetowne and Central clubs of Cambridge. He is a popular Mason, being a...

Biographical Sketch of Aldrich, Samuel Nelson

Aldrich, Samuel Nelson, son of Sylvanus Bucklin and Lucy Jane (Stoddard) Aldrich, was born in Upton, Worcester County, February 3, 1838. His education was conducted at the Worcester and Southington, Conn., academies, and at Brown University, Providence, R. I. Subsequently he taught schools at Upton, Holliston and Worcester, Mass. He entered upon the study of law with Hon. Isaac Davis and E. B. Stoddard, at Worcester, and completed the same at the Harvard law school. In 1863 Mr. Aldrich was admitted to the bar, and then commenced practice at Marlborough. Since 1874 he has kept an office in Boston, though retaining his residence in Marlborough and living in Boston during the winter. In the public affairs of Marlborough Mr. Aldrich has been prominent; was for nine years on the school committee, was four years on the board of selectmen, officiating as chairman of both; has been a director of the People’s National Bank at Marlborough; president of the Marlborough Board of Trade; president of the Framingham & Lowell Railroad (now a portion of the Old Colony system), and president of the Central Massachusetts Railroad. In 1879 Mr. Aldrich was elected to the state senate, where he served as chairman of the committee on taxation and as a member of the committee on bills in the third reading, and on constitutional amendments. In 1880 he was again a member of the state senate, serving on the judiciary committee. In 1883 he was a member of the House, and served on the judiciary committee. In 1880 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress from the 7th Massachusetts district. In March 1887,...

Biography of Allen, Joseph Henry

Allen, Joseph Henry, was born August 21, 1820, in Northborough, Worcester County, where his father (Joseph, born in Medfield, 1790, on the old homestead at Castle Hill, occupied since 1649 and still by the Allen family) was settled as minister of the town in 1816, and remained pastor of the First Parish till his death in 1873. His mother (Lucy Clark, born in Hingham, 1791, died 1866) was daughter of Prof. Henry Ware of Harvard University (1805-1845). He is seventh in descent, by the maternal line, of a series of Massachusetts Congregational ministers, including Thomas Clark, Chelmsford; John Hancock, Lexington; Nicholas Bowes, Bedford; Jonas Clark, Lexington; Henry Ward, Hingham; Joseph Allen, Northborough. The Allen family has been remarkable for the number of teachers and preachers born to the blood. The early education of the subject of our sketch was received in district schools and country occupations until the age of thirteen. He entered Harvard College at sixteen, having had little or no regular preparatory instruction, and was graduated in 1840, third in his class—the first rank being held by Prof. John B. Henck, the second by Judge George P. Sanger. Graduating from the Harvard divinity school in 1843, in Washington, D. C., 1847, and in Bangor, Me., 1850. Leaving Bangor in 1857, he was till 1863 engaged in private instruction at Jamaica Plain, then till 1866 in a parish charge in North-borough; since 1867 he has resided at Cambridge. He was for twelve years (until its discontinuance at the end of 1869) connected with the “Christian Examiner” as literary editor, editor-in-chief, and joint proprietor; then for eight years engaged...
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