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Biography of Solomon Secrest

Sixty years have rolled away since Solomon Secrest, one of Riley County’s pioneer settlers and most respected citizens, first surveyed with wonder and admiration, the beautiful, peaceful valley of Fancy Creek, then sleeping quiet and praetically unknown within the enfolding hills. In November, 1856, with his brother Edward and Henry Shellenbaum, returning from a buffalo hunt on the Saline River, whither they had accompanied a band of Wyandotte Indians, journeyed up the Blue River in search of Henry Coundry, an old acquaintance, who had settled in the previous year near the mouth of Mill Creek. In their search they came into the fertile valley of Fancy Creek and all were so charmed with Nature’s beauty and lavishness here that they resolved to secure permanent homes here. All three subsequently became pioneer settlers in Riley County and prominent citizens and prosperous farmers. Solomon Secrest was born near Winterthur, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, December 30, 1834. His parents were John Ulrich and Regula (Fryhofer) Secrest. They had four children: Edward, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work; Solomon; Esther C., who married P. Heller, is now deceased; and John Jacob, who died in 1861, when aged twenty-one years. In the fall of 1846 the parents came with their children to the United States and settled in Jackson County, Indiana, and the father carried on farming there until 1860, when he followed his sons, Edward and Solomon, to Riley County, Kansas. He died in Jackson Township, Riley County, in 1867, at the age of seventy-three years. His wife survived until 1890, dying when aged ninety-three years. Solomon Secrest grew to...

Biography of Edward Secrest

While his hundreds of well wishers and admiring friends in Riley County speak— as they often do—of Mr. Edward Seerest, they seldom use his full name, but a term of more significance and affection–simply “Uncle Ed.” In a country where titles of nobility are forbidden, there is more of genuine honor and esteem accompanying these words than are signified in the more august titles so prevalent in the undemocratic comtries across the sea. There have been several enechal events in the career of this honored pioneer settler of Riley County. The first came when he was fourteen years of age. At that time he was the oldest of four children–Edward, Solomon. Esther C. and Jacob–included in the little household of John Ulrich and Regula (Fryhofer) Secrest who were thrifty and honest residents and freeholders of Canton Zurich, Switzerland, dwelling near the Town of Winterthur. John Ulrich Secrest was a weaver of linen. The son Edward up to that time had attended somewhat regularly the public schools of his native land. In the winter evenings and at other times the family had again and again disenssed the advantages and opportunities of the wonderful country of America. These discussions had become more and more deflnite. and at the time just mentioned the family were on the point of undertaking the great adventure of immigrating to the New World. Edward Secrest had been born April 21, 1833, and it was in 1846 that the little family set sail from Havre, France, and after a sea vovage of seven weeks landed in New Orleans. From that southern seaport a steamboat took them up...

Biography of Gaston Frederic DuBois

Gaston Frederic DuBois, president of the Monsanto Chemical Works of St. Louis, was born in Switzerland in 1880 and has been a resident of St. Louis since 1904, arriving in this city when a young man of twenty-four years. He is a son of Louis Ferdinand and Lucy (Smith) DuBois, both of whom are still living in the land of the Alps. The father is now a retired banker, having for many years been a prominent figure in financial circles. The maternal grandfather was a prominent railroad engineer, specializing in the building of Alpine railroads. Gaston F. DuBois was educated in the public schools of his native land and was graduated from the Federal Polytechnic School of Zurich, Switzerland, in 1903, having completed a course in chemical engineering. He afterward went to Germany, where he specialized on electro-chemistry and one year later he came to America. Arriving in St. Louis in 1904 he engaged as chemical engineer with the Monsanto Chemical Works And in 1919 was elected to the presidency of the company. This firm supplied acids and other lines to the government during the World war. In the year 1909 Mr. DuBois was married in Switzerland to Miss Marguerite Gill and they have become parents of three children: Rene, Frederic and Jeanne. Mr. DuBois belongs to the Ethical Society of St. Louis and he has membership with the University Club, the City Club and the American Chemical Society. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he keeps well informed concerning the vital questions and issues of the day. He finds recreation and diversion in music...

Biography of Henry Jackson Waters

There is perhaps no man in Missouri more competent to speak with authority upon the question of scientific production in connection with the farm and the dairy than is Professor Henry Jackson Waters, who for a long period has made a very close study of the many topics relative to this broad field of labor. He was born in Center, Missouri, November 23, 1865, and in the acquirement of his education won the degree of Bachelor of Agriculture from the Missouri State University in 1886. In the same year he was appointed assistant secretary of the Missouri State Board of Agriculture, serving until the following year, and in 1837 he became assistant director of agriculture at the Missouri experimental station, where he continued his labors until 1891. In the following year he was appointed to the professorship of agriculture in the State University of Pennsylvania, where he continued his work as an instructor until 1895. In 1896 he was dean of the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts of Missouri and also director of the experimental station, thus continuing until 1909. Through the succeeding nine years he was president of the Kansas State Agricultural College, doing much to improve the course of instruction and render the work of the institution of the greatest practical avail. In the meantime he had had further study abroad, going to Liepzic, Germany, where he remained in 1904-5 and in the latter year he also studied for a time in Zurich, Switzerland, thus gaining knowledge of the most advanced scientific methods followed in the old world. In 1913 the New Hampshire State College conferred...

Biographical Sketch of Richard Harvey Johnson

The subject of this sketch, the son and law partner of Richard Z. Johnson, subject of the preceding review, was born at Silver City, in Owyhee County, Idaho, on the 19th of July 1870. He received his education at the Boise high school, and in mathematics and the modern languages at the Concordia, in Zurich, Switzerland, and in Greek and Latin under Professors Lambert and Winneger, at Lindau, in Boden-See, Bavaria. Returning to America, he entered Yale University and afterwards graduated from the law department, with the degree of LL. B., in 1892 just thirty-three years after his father had taken the same degree at the same institution. Returning to Idaho, he entered into partnership with his father, in the practice of the law at Boise City, the capital of the state, with whom he is still associated. At the general election in 1896, Mr. Johnson was elected to the house of representatives of the fourth session of the state legislature, as a Democrat, and served as chairman of the committee on state...

Biographical Sketch of Karl Bodmer

Karl Bodmer, born in Zurich, Switzerland, 1805; died 1894. Studied under Cornu. He accompanied Maximilian, Prince of Wied, on several journeys, including that up the Valley of the Missouri. Many of his original sketches made during that memorable trip are now in the Edward E. Ayer collection, Newberry Library, Chicago. His later works are chiefly of wooded landscapes, some being scenes in the valleys of the Missouri and Mississippi. Bodmer was a very close friend of the great artist Jean Francois Millet. De Cost Smith, in Century Magazine, May, 1910, discussing the close association of the two artists, and referring especially to their joint work, wrote: “The two men must have worked together from the pure joy of friendship, for it must be confessed that the work of neither was very greatly improved by the other’s additions. Bodmer would put a horse into one of Millet’s Indian pictures and add some vegetation in the foreground, Millet would return the favor by introducing figures into Bodmer’s landscapes. But this does not refer to the sketches made by Bodmer during his journey up the Missouri in...

Biographical Sketch of Albert William Smith

Smith, Albert William; college prof.; born at Newark, O., Oct. 4, 1862; son of George H. and Mary (Sanborn) Smith; Ph. C., University of Michigan, 1885; B. S., Case School of Applied Science, Cleveland, 1887; Ph. D., University of Zurich, 1891; married Mary Wilkinson of Cleveland, June 5, 1890; prof. chemistry, Case School of Applied Science, since 1891, Yellow A. A. A. S.; member American Chemistry Society, American Institute Mining Engineers, American Electrochem. Society, Society Promotion Engineering Education; has contributed to technical papers in society...

Ridgley, Josephine – Obituary

Josephine (Reichmuth) Ridgley was born near Zurich, Switzerland May 14, 1888. She immigrated to the United States in the early 1900’s with her sister Marie to Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington to join other family members that lived there. Miss Reichmuth was married to Charles Franklin Jaensch Sr. in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington in 1909. To this union was born two sons; Charles Franklin Jaensch Jr. and Joseph William Jaensch. Mr. and Mrs. Jaensch lived in Wallowa County for a number of years farming on Alder Slope. Mr. and Mrs. Jaensch later divorced and Mrs. Jaensch moved to Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. She worked for a number of years at the Heathman Hotel in Portland. At a later date she was a caregiver to Mr. Ridgley, eventually they were married and lived at 5304 North Concord Street in Portland, Oregon. After Mr. Ridgleys death, Mrs. Ridgley in her later years moved to an assisted living nursing home in Portland, Oregon where she passed away in February 1984. Mrs. Ridgley was interred in the Rose Lawn Cemetery in Portland. Mrs. Ridgley was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Annie, first husband Charles Franklin Jaensch Sr. and Mr. Ridgley of Portland and a son, Joseph William Jaensch of El Paso, Texas. She is survived by a son, Charles Franklin Jaensch Jr., grandchildren Gerald Franklin Jaensch of Baker, Oregon and David Michael Jaensch of Hillsboro, Oregon. Three great grandchildren, Timothy Jaensch, Lisa Jaensch of Baker, Oregon and Eric Jaensch of Hillsboro, Oregon and other nieces and nephews. Note: I Gerald Jaensch by my hand, made this obituary from known facts and...

Biography of Cyrus Strong Merrill, M. D.

CYRUS STRONG MERRILL, M. D. AMONG the noted professional men of Albany no name shines with greater resplendency in a special department of science than that of Dr. C. S. Merrill, the eminent oculist and aurist. On the 21st of September, 1847, in the town of Bridport, Vermont, he first saw the light. His parents were Edward Henry Merrill and Sarah Wilson Strong, whose ancestors were among the earliest settlers of that state and exerted a marked influence on its affairs before, as well as since the revolution. From his earliest years the natural inclination of his genius was plainly manifested. While a mere boy he delighted in the studies of natural science, especially in anatomy, physiology and chemistry. He was thus, unconsciously, laying the foundation of his future celebrity as a physician; and while other boys of his age were indulging in the more boisterous sports of the town or field, or wasting their time in idleness, young Merrill was absorbed with books illustrative of the first principles of medical science. His parents, witnessing with pleasure his studious habits, determined to gratify his tastes by giving him a liberal education, and accordingly he was early placed under the care of competent private tutors. He was next sent to the Newton academy, where his acquisition of knowledge was very rapid, and where he was carefully prepared for college. In 1863, he entered Middlebury College, where he remained for one year and then went to Amherst College, “beautiful for situation,” and so noted a seat of learning. It was then under the presidency of the late venerable Dr. Stearns, and...

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