Biography of John Alexander Bond
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John A. Bond. Among the family names that have been known and respected for more than a half century in Shawnee County, is that of Bond. Industrious, honorable, intelligent and religious, the Bonds have helped in every way the development of this section and have reflected credit on both family and community. John Alexander Bond, the present leading representative of the family and its pioneer settler in Kansas, now lives in comfortable retirement on his fine farm situated in Rossville Township.
John Alexander Bond was born in Virginia, May 20, 1834, the eldest of his parents’ seven children. He is a son of Thomas and Margaret (Ireland) Bond, both of whom were born in Virginia. The paternal grandfather of Mr. Bond came from England to the United States and landed at Baltimore, Maryland, later removing to Virginia, and was a planter there. The maternal grandfather probably was born in Ireland. He was discovered as a stowaway child, on a sailing vessel bound for America and as he was too young to remember his real name he was called Ireland by those who first cared for him and this name he later adopted and lived to honor it. In the course of time he became a substantial farmer in Virginia, married there and reared an estimable family. His daughter, Margaret Ireland, became the wife of Thomas Bond. Mr. Bond and wife came to Kansas soon after their son, John Alexander, had located here, but Mrs. Bond did not long survive pioneer vicissitudes, dying in 1870. Mr. Bond survived until July, 1884. Although not blessed with large means they were people of fine character and to their memory their son renders honor and affection.
John Alexander Bond was reared on a farm and attended school when opportunity offered but is largely a self taught man. On September 6, 1860, Mr. Bond was married to Agnes Thomas and shortly afterward came to Kansas. For some time Mr. Bond rented farm land in the neighborhood of Topeka and during this period went through some of the most discouraging years that the early settlcrs in the state endured, the great drought and the grasshopper invasion being matters of history. During this time many settlers became so discouraged that they returned to the East but Mr. Bond was of stronger fiber. In his wife he had a resourceful and cheerful helpmate and together they endured and sacrificed for a time and rejoiced together when prosperity came. In 1869, with their three-year old son they came to Rossville Township and in 1874 Mr. Bond bought seventy acres of the place on which he lives. It was virgin soil and thus all the improving was done by his own hands, the grove of cottonwood trees being then set out for a windbreak. Afterward, as he was able, largely through the frugality of his beloved wife, he bought more land and continued to add to his possessions until his farm now includes 160 acres and he had been generous also to his two children in the matter of land as well as in affording them educational advantages. Both are highly respected residents of Rossville Township, Morris Bond, the younger, being a farmer, and Lydia, the oldest, being the wife of T. H. Emert. Mr. Bond, in his long life, had met with trouble, as everyone must, but a heavy berenvement came to him in the death of his estimable wife which occurred April 1, 1916. Outside her home circle Mrs. Bond numbered among her friends many of the best known people of this section and many who had been belped at times by her courage and cheerfulness and numberless acts of neighborly kindness. She rests in a quiet spot beneath the cottonwood trees that she had watched develop from twigs of her husband’s planting. She was a devoted member of the United Brethren Church, in which Mr. Bond had been active since 1861.
In politics Mr. Bond is a democrat. He had never sought nor accepted public office of any kind but had always stood ready to lend both moral and material help in movements promising to be for the general welfare. He is well acquainted over the county as he had done considerable traveling, and the friends he had made are men like himself, honorable, hospitable and true-hearted, real Kansas types.