Merifield Vicory. It is now almost half a century since Merifield Vicory came to Kansas and identified himself with the pioneer activities of the farm and ranch in the Sunflower State, He came to Kansas bringing with him the record of a brave and faithful soldier during the war of the Rebellion, and through his work as a farmer and his public spirit as a citizen had exemplified the same sterling traits that made him a good soldier when the country needed him.
Mr. Vicory came to Kansas from Ohio. He was born in Springfield that state August 24, 1840, being the youngest of seven children and the only one now living whose parents were Merifield and Leah (Williams) Vicory. His grandfather was also named Merifield, and was a soldier in the Revolution, having enlisted when a boy of fourteen, and serving as a drummer. This revolutionary soldier afterward followed a career as a farmer. Merifield the second was a gunsmith and blacksmith by trade. He lived in Ohio a number of years, but finally moved to Illinois where he died.
Third of the family in as many successive generations to bear the name of Merifield, Mr. Vicory had much to contend with when a youth. When he was about four or five years of age his mother died, and the family home was soon broken up, and the children grew up largely among strangers. Mr. Vicory himself was bound out to a farmer in Clark County, Ohio, and as the need of his services kept him almost constantly employed about the farm, he had little opportunity to attend school. His education was largely the result of attendance at local schools during the winter months.
Only a few days after reaching his twenty-first birthday, Mr. Vicory enlisted September 2, 1861, in Company F of the Forty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He went into the camp of instruction at Charleston, West Virginia, and subsequently his command was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland. He received his baptism of fire in the Battle of Lewisburg in the spring of 1862. For a number of months his regiment was actively engaged in pursuing the rebel leader Mosby. He was at Knoxville, Tennessee, when that city was besieged by General Longstreet, and remained there until relieved by the detachment from Chattanooga. After the battle of Missionary Ridge he re-enlisted, becoming a member of the Eighth Ohio Cavalry. In the meantime he spent a veteran furlough at home, and during his second period of service went over practically the same ground that he had covered during his first enlistment. He was in the Hunter raid in the Shenandoah Valley, and was on duty there until after the battle of Winchester, in which he also participated. He fought at Cedar Creek, and spent the winter of 1864-65 at Beverly. During the remainder of the war he was on scout duty in and around Clarksburg, West Virginia, and his honorable discharge is dated at that place on July 30, 1865.
With the close of hostilities and with nearly four years of military service to his credit, Mr. Vicory returned to Ohio and lived in that state until 1867. In that year he came west to Kansas, and homesteaded eighty acres of land in Wabaunsee County near the Shawnee County line and not far from the Village of Dover. Dover is now the home of his retirement, and his interests have always been centered in and around that place. He had followed farming and stock raising, and kept in active touch with his business affairs until recent years. Prosperity rewarded his efforts, and at one time he owned 320 acres of rich Kansas soil, but had since reduced his holdings to 160 acres.
On February 4, 1869, after coming to Kansas, he married Louisa Tuttle. They are the parents of three children: Effie K., now Mrs. Robert Logan; Freeman, a resident of Greenleaf, Kansas; and Cora, Mrs. Dolson Wade. The mother of these children died December 31, 1887. On November 3, 1892, Mr. Vicory married Mrs. Sarah M. (Sage) Leader, danghter of Arthur Sage and widow of William Leader.
As an old soldier who fought for the Union during the dark days of the ’60s, Mr. Vicory had been an uncompromising republican in politics. He had never been known as a “joiner,” and belongs to no religious denomination or fraternal secret society. He had found plenty to occupy his attention by looking strictly after his personal affairs, paying his honest debts and living the life of a patriotic American citizen as he understands that term.