The experiences of Charles J. Buckingham in Kansas cover almost half century. He came to the state in 1868, was for many years successfully identified with the farming, stockraising and public life of Leavenworth and Wabaunsee County, but in 1912 retired and moved to Topeka, where he enjoys the comforts of a city home at 1029 Lane Street.
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He was born in 1837, in Clermont County, near Miamiville, Ohio. His people were among the earliest and most prominent pioneers of this section of Southern Ohio. His gradfather, Enoch, a native of Pennsylvania, was one of the first white men to effect a permanent settlement in the neighborhood of Cinsinnati. He was born about 1770, and went to the Ohio valley before the lands had been opened to settlement by treaty with the Indian tribes. To locate on the Little Miami River at that time and under such conditions was a very hazardous undertaking. Most of the early pioneers in that section of Ohio put up log houses, but his first habitation was a hollow sycamore log, of immense size, and served the purpose of a human habitation in some respects even better than the typical log cabins of that day. Enoch Buckingham subsequently located near Milford, where during the Civil war Camp Dennison was established. He and a few other daring spirits were the first settlers of the Little Miami Vailey. He died in 1846.
Of his family of seven children one was Horatio Buckingham, who was born in 1806, and, like his father, became a man of considerable importance in the Miami Valley, owned extensive landed properties, was a merehant, and by his character and achievements gained the respect and esteem of a large community. In 1834 Horatio Buckingham married Miss Jane Day. Her father, a native of New Jersey, was also among the early arrivals in Clearmont County, Ohio, and was a substantial farmer there. Horatio Buckingham was born on the western bank of the Miami River in Hamilton County, Ohio. He and his wife Jane had five children. The names of his children were: Agnes Day, Charles J., Albert G., Louisa J., and Oregon. Agnes married J. W. Paxton, of Clearmount County, Ohio, where he was a farmer. She died in 1915, at the age of eighty-one years. Albert, who was a farmer in Hamilton County, Ohio, died in 1912. Louisa, who is still living at an advanced age in Ohio, though an invalid, married Thomas M. Vandervort. Oregon died in infancy. By a second marriage, to Euphema Chamberlin, Horatio Buckingham had three sons: Louis B., Walter C. and Victor, but the last named died when two years old.
Charles Jeffreys Buckingham was reared and educated in the vicinity of his birthplace in Southern Ohio. On coming to Kansas in 1868 he located six miles north of Lawrence in Leavenworth County. There in partnership with his brother he bought a section of land, but somewhat later he acquired his brother’s interest, and began extending his holdings until he was the owner of about 1,000 acres. In that locality for about a quarter of a century he was one of the most extensive and also one of the most successful farmers and stockraisers. The success with which he directed his private affairs brought him the confidence of his fellow citizens, and in 1889 he was elected treasurer of Leavenworth County, and by re-election in 1891 filled the office four years. In 1899 he removed to Wabaunsee County, and again acquired a ranch property, on which he raised stock for fifteen years. Before settling in Topeka Mr. Buckingham made some large investments in Western Kansas land, principally in Ford County, and these he still owned.
In 1861 he married Miss Virginia Gatch, of Clearmont County, Ohio. Her father, Rev. George G. Gatch, was a native of Ruckingham County, Virginia, and a son of Rev. Philip Gatch, one of the first itinerant Methodist ministers of Southern Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Backingham became the parents of two children. Presocia, who was born in 1862, is the wife of Prof. O. G. Markham, dean and professor of Baker University. Agnes, who was born in 1864, died at the age of fifteen.
Mr. Buckingham married for his second wife Mahala Hughes Gatch. They were married in 1868, and she died in 1880, the mother of two children, Edwin and Sarah. Edwin is a successful real estate man at San Antonio, Texas. Sarah, who was born July 4, 1871, first married Mr. Henry Aller, of Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1894, and her daughter by that marriage is now a student in Washburn College. Mr. Aller died in 1897, and she is now the wife of Mr. Lloyd B. Smith, vice president of the Topeka Iron & Bridge Company. Mr. Buckingham married for his third wife Mrs. Melcena Odell, of Jefferson County, Kansas. Mrs. Buckingham had a son by her former marriage, Frank Odell, who is in the real estate business at Dodge City, Kansas, and largely interested in the growing of wheat in Western Kansas.