Biography of George McKinley
George McKinley. In point of continuous service George McKinley is one of the veteran Santa Fe Railway men. He began railroading with a line that is now part of the Santa Fe system more than thirty years ago, and for over a quarter of a century had faithfully discharged the duties of station agent at Humboldt. He had also prospered in a business way, and is the owner of some valuable oil and gas productions near Humboldt.
Mr. McKinley was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, December 8, 1861. His people were of Irish descent and were pioneers in Ohio. His grandfather, William McKinley, died in Fairfield County, Ohio. The father’s name was also William, and he was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1828, grew up and married there, and made farming his basie oceupation. He was an early settler at Humboldt, Kansas, locating there in 1880, and acquired some extensive real estate in the town. He died at Humboldt in 1904. Politicaily he was a republican, and was an active member and elder of the Presbyterian Church. William McKinley married Grace Mounts, who was born in Warreu County, Ohio, in 1843, and died at Humboldt, Kansas, in 1908. Their children were: Mary, who lives at Humboldt, widow of Monroe Ashbrook, who died at Humboldt, having been a farmer in Ohio and in Kansas; George, who is the second in age; William, a horticulturist living at Carlinville in Maconpin County, Illinois; Alice, who lives at Humboldt, widow of Charles Reber, who was a merchant; Joseph, a banker at Iola, Kansas; Charles, connected with the Wells Fargo Company Express at Kansas City, Missouri; Scott, a farmer at Humboldt; John, also a farmer at Humboldt.
George McKinley had his early education in the public schools of Fairfield County, Ohio, and grew up on his father’s farm. He was nincteeu when he came to Kansas and for several years remained on the farm in Allen County. In 1885 he entered the service of the old L. L. and G. Railway, now part of the Santa Fe, and from the first had been connected with the station service. He became station agent at Humboldt in 1891. Since that year he had been the effective and efficient medium of the transaction of business between the railroad and the public, and is the type of man who had done much to popularize the Santa Fe Railway as a transportation system in Kansas.
Mr. McKinley owned a farm of eighty acres four miles south of Ilumboldt. It is in the center of the oil and gas district, and it now had ten producing oil wells. His home, which he owned, is at 318 South Ninth Street. Mr. McKinley is also treasurer of the McKinley Crude Oil Company. He is a republican and a member of the Presbyterian Church.
He first married in 1886, in Illinois, Miss Flora Deffenbaugh. She died at Humboldt in 1904. There were three children of their marriage: Susan, who died at the age of twenty years, after her marriage to Chester Squire, now a farmer at Humboldt; Benjamin, an employee of the Santa Fe Railway Company at Forth Worth, Texas; and Junior, who lives at home and is in the second year of the Humboldt High School. In 1908 at Humboldt Mr. McKinley married Miss Effle Neff, daughter of Eli and Nancy (Barnes) Neff. Her parents are both deceased, her father having been an extensive land owner and rancher in Wilson County, Kansas.