Alexander Jacob Waldraven. Among the oldest and most highly respected citizens of Riley County, Kansas, is Alexander Jacob Waldraven, who has spent more than half his life in this state. His remote ancestry was Pennsylvania Dutch, and no more solid and substantial people can be found, but for many years the Waldravens had lived in North Carolina. He was born in Stokes County, which was later divided forming Stokes and Forsythe counties in that state, April 15, 1839, and was reared on the farm of his father, John Henry Waldraven.
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Alexander Jacob Waldraven has led an agricultural life. After the close of the Civil war he moved to Missouri and resided on a farm near Lee’s Summit, in Jackson County, until 1872, when he removed to Kansas and settled on a farm east of Waterville, in Marshall County. It was in 1881 that Mr. Waldraven came to Riley County, locating at that time on section 13, May Day Township, where he purchased 240 acres of land, which he subsequently developed and improved. After many years of prosperity as a farmer and stockraiser, Mr. Waldraven retired, turning over the active management of his large estate to his youngest son, who is a capable farmer and a graduate of the Kansas State Agricultural College.
In 1861 Mr. Waldraven was married to Martha Susanna Long, and they have the following children: Cora Elizabeth, who is the wife of Rev. David Everett Bundy, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; Robert Ulysses, who is a minister and traveling evangelist of the church denomination named above; Ada Belle, who is the widow of James T. Smith; and Luther Watts, who was born in Marshall County, Kansas, October 15, 1878, was graduated from the Kansas State Agricultural College in 1900, and in 1914 was married to Miss Laura L. Wendland. He is now operating his father’s farm in May Day Township. The parents of the above children reside with Mrs. Smith in May Day Township.
While Mr. Waldraven has never sought political preferment for himself, he has kept well informed concerning matters of public import and has been intelligently interested. At times he has united with organizations that have sought, by the franchise, to bring about better conditions along many lines, and recognized the excellent underlying principles of both the greenback and populist movements. At present he is nominally a democrat but is inclined to be somewhat independent yet in his support of men and measures. Mr. and Mrs. Waldraven were reared in the Methodist Episcopal Church South but as there is no church of that denomination in their neighborhood, they have united with the Evangelical Association and are active Christian workers. The entire family has high standing in Riley County.