Location: Abilene Kansas

Biography of James Harvey Stewart

James Harvey Stewart of Wichita,who had been identified with Kansas for thirty years, is a lawyer by profession, is vice president of the National Bank of Commerce, is former state senator, and for twenty years or more had played a very infiuential part both in business and civic affairs at Wichita. He is now chairman of the Commerce Committee of the Wichita Commercial Club, had served as vice president of the Chamber of Commerce and is vice president of the Wichita Business Men’s Association, and is chairman of the Eighth District Congressional Republican Committee. At one time he was chairman of the Republican County Central Committee of Sedgwick County, and was a delegate to all republican state conventions for ten years before the primaries succeeded the convention system. An Ohio man by birth, he spent most of his early years in Iowa and from there came to Kansas. He was born at Hebron, Licking County, Ohio, October 9, 1854, and at the age of ten, in 1864, his parents removed to Lucas County, Iowa. He got most of his education in the country schools of Iowa. His father and an older son conducted a general store at Chariton, Iowa, and in 1871 James Stewart became a clerk in that establishment, and during the next nine years got a very practical business training. In the meantime he studied law at...

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Biography of Joseph Ralph Burton, Hon.

Among the men who have come out of the Hoosier State to aid Kansas in its. real growth and development, there had been no finer man nor better citizen than Hom. Joseph Ralph Burton. Youthful in years as he was in experience when he came to Kansas in 1878, he plunged at once into the heart of affairs and gained ready recognition from the people. Senator Burton had at that time the ability to impress others with his reliability; he gained public confidence; he possessed the power of making people know that his talents were not merely skin deep but that they were solid, substantial and lasting. Nearly forty years have passed since he cast his fortunes with the workers who have constrncted the mighty commonwealth of the Sunflower and his reliability need not now be mentioned, it is so well known; the public confidence which he gained in his youth had been strengthened and solidified as the years have passed; his hold upon the people is strong and sure because of what he had done in their behalf. His record speaks for itself. Joseph Ralph Burton was born on his father’s farm near Mitchell, Lawrence County, Indiana, November 16, 1852, his parents being Allen C. and Elizabeth (Holmes) Burton. The Burton family, which is of English origin, was founded in America about the year 1750. John P. Burton,...

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Biography of Thomas M. Jones

Thomas M. Jones. From 1903 to 1917 Thomas M. Jones was assistant postmaster of Abilene, and in that time really handled the important responsibilities and executive details of the city postal system. He received his appointment under the late Richard Waring, and steadily continued in the office under subsequent administrations. Mr. Jones is an expert accountant, and that ability gave his service a great value in the postoffice, and during his long residence at Abilene he had been given many important commissions in auditing and in straightening up the books of commercial concerns. He is now cashier of the United Telephone Company, one of the leading light, power and telephone concerns of the Middle West. Mr. Jones had lived in Abilene since early manhood. He was born in a log house on a farm in Macoupin County, Illinois, June 20, 1861, a son of George F. and Elizabeth E. (Snider) Jones. George F. Jones was long well known in Abilene, where he died May 19, 1917. He was born in Indiana October 6, 1835, in 1855 removed to Illinois, and was a farmer in that state until 1886, when he came to Abilene, Kansas, and identified himself with the hardware and agrieultural business. For twenty-eight years he sold goods all over Dickinson County, and finally retired with a competence in 1914. He was also prominent in civic affairs, was...

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Biography of Charles H. Browne

Charles H. Browne is proprietor and editor of the Horton Headlight-Commercial, now the only journal published in that enterprising and flourishing city of Brown County. Mr. Browne had been largely identified with newspaper work since he left school, and is a vigorous type of citizen and easily a leader in any community. For a number of years he had been connected with the National Guard of Kansas and had been especially active in recent events in which the country had been involved in tronble, first with Mexico and later with Germany. The Horton Headlight-Commercial is a consolidation of half a dozen different Horton newspapers. As reported in the “History of Kansas Newspapers,” issued by the Kansas State Historical Society, the Headlight-Commercial is a continuation of the Horton Headlight, founded in 1886 by Harley W. Brundige and Samuel Baer_ In 1901 it was consolidated with the Leader, which had been founded in 1899 by Johnson & Law. The name was changed to Horton Headlight-Leader, Johnson & Law editors and publishera. But the name was soon changed to Headlight, and this newspaper Mr. Browne purchased in 1906. In 1911 it consolidated with the Commercial under the name Headlight-Commercial, with Mr. Browne as editor and published. The Horton Commercial was founded in 1887 by John S. Sherdeman. At different times in its history the Headlight had had daily issucs. Mr. Charles H....

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Biography of Frank Geoffroy

Frank Geoffroy, who is a successful commission and grain merchant at Abilene, is a native of Kansas, and he and his people have been identified with this state since early pioneer days. Kansas was a territory and was known throughout the country as”bleeding Kansas” when his father and grandparents came and located as pioneers in Franklin County in 1855. His father, Ernest Geoffroy, was born near Metz, France, September 7, 1841, and was brought to America in 1849. The grandparents lived on a farm in Iowa for a few years, but in 1855 came out to Kansas and began their pioneer work in Franklin County. They were among the very first settlers there and the people of that district, as elsewhere, were divided in partisanship over the slavery question. At the age of sixteen Ernest Geoffroy left home and engaged as a driver of an ox team for a government contractor hauling supplies across the plains of Western Kansas to the United States military post in Colorado. That was in the years before the Civil war. The western country was then filled with hostile Indians, and there were also many other dangers and hazards of a life on the prairie. When the Civil war came on Ernest Geoffroy tendered his services to the Union cause, but was rejected on account of his age. For more than half a century...

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Biography of Jacob E. Brewer

Jacob E. Brewer. The author of the two cent railroad fare law in Kansas is Jacob E. Brewer of Abilene. Mr. Brewer proposed, introduced and successfully advocated that law during his membership in the State Senate from 1905 to 1909, representing the district of Clay and Dickinson counties. Mr. Brewer is an old and well known merchant of Abilene. He had the chief department store there and is also a wholesale commission merchant. It is said that 200 carloads of eggs are gathered and shipped to market through his plant every year. Permanence and solidity is a part of Mr. Brewer’s personal and business character. His big store at Abilene occupies the same site where he first began selling goods thirty-five years ago. Besides his store Mr. Brewer is a director of the Abilene National Bank, is a prominent Knight Templar Mason and Shriner, also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, and had long taken an active part in republican politics in his section of the state. While in the State Senate he was chairman of the insurance committee, a member of the oil and gas committee, of the fees and salaries committee, and an active worker in behalf of all the advanced and progressive legislation proposed during his term. For a number of years he served as chairman of the Dickinson County Republican Central Committee and had...

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Biography of Hiland Southworth

Hiland Southworth. Abilene was far out on the western frontier when a young lawyer named Hiland Southworth joined himself to the community in 1878. In the growth and development of the city and surrounding connty Mr. Southworth afterward had a most infinential and active part. His own success and prosperity rose with the community and he made his business, that of investment banking, a tried and sure resource and a bulwark of financial integrity. The judgment and abilities required for the handling of investments both large and small Mr. Southworth possessed to a rare degree approximating genius. Mr. Southworth was of New England ancestry. He was born at Clarendon in Rutland County, Vermont, September 26, 1849, the fourth son of Seymour and Rachel (Sherman) Southworth. His parents were natives of the same town and state, They had ten children, four daughters and six sons. Mr. Southworth grew up on a Vermont farm. His people were thrifty New Englanders, though in moderate circumstances, and they encouraged him to acquire a liberal education. In September, 1871, he entered Middlebury College at Middlebury, Vermont, and was graduated with the honors of his class in 1875. For a year he read law at Rutland, Vermont, and for another year he taught school and read law at the same time at Rosendale, Wisconsin. Coming to Kansas in 1876, Mr. Southworth continued his law reading...

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Biography of David Franklin Shirk

David Franklin Shirk, a prominent Kansas educator and a worker in behalf of child welfare, had been a resident of this state thirty years. Born at Shannon, Carroll County, Illinois, July 10, 1859, he was reared and educated in his native state, and as a young man began teaching school in Illinois. In 1886 he came to Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas, and followed educational work in this state actively for twenty-four years. In 1906 Mr. Shirk was graduated from Friends University at Wichita. Much distinction attaches to his work as a school man. He assisted in organizing the first county high school in Kansas at Chapman, Dickinson County. He also organized the first high school Y. M. C. A. in the world. He was elected and served for four years as superintendent of public instruction of Dickinson County. For five years he was superintendent of the schools at Cottonwood Falls in Chase County, was superintendent at Newton, Kansas, six years, and for two years at Great Bend in Barton County. In 1906 and again in 1910 he made student tours of Europe, and on the second trip took his wife and his two children as a part of their education. Since 1910 Topeka had been his home, and, at the death of the distinguished Dr. O. S. Morrow, he was appointed his successor as superintendent of the Kansas State...

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Biographical Sketch of T. B. Johns

T. B. Johns, farmer, P. O. Athens, was born in Galena, Ill., April 8, 1841. In 186l he went to California, and back to Nevada in 1862; thence to Utah; thence to Idaho; thence to British Columbia; thence to Oregon; thence to Montana; thence to Wyoming; thence back to Utah; thence to Prescott, Arizona, back to Nevada, and again back to Illinois; thence to Queenstown, Ireland, and back to the United States, settling at Abilene, Kan., in 1871. Came to Jewell County in October 1871, and is now the owner of 240 acres of land. Mr. Johns has been an extensive traveler, but becoming tired of traveling has for the past eleven years lived in Jewell County, and has found the soil of Kansas productive. Has held the office of Township Trustee. Was married in February, 1872, in Jewell County, to Miss Claire Farren; they have four children – Thomas C., Richard S., Carrie, and...

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Biography of John B. Favor

John B. Favor, present sheriff of Sumner County, has been a resident of Western Kansas for over forty-five years, and though he was a small boy when the family moved here he knows both by recollection and personal experience all the vicissitudes and trials that beset the early pioneers. This story of a pioneer Kansas family begins with the removal of Gaines and Susan (Lavender) Favor from their native state of Tennessee to a farm near Cairo, Illinois, in 1855. On that farm in the southern part of Illinois was born on January 22, 1860, John B. Favor, first mentioned above. A little more than a year later Gaines Favor, who had got well started as a farmer in Southern Illinois and was recognized as a man of some prominence, was killed by the explosion of one of the old-fashioned threshing outfits known as “Groundhog” machines. This was, of course, a calamity in the family history. Besides his widow he was survived by an older son and two daughters in addition to John B. Favor. The work of the farm then fell upon the widowed mother and her children. To make their situation the harder the war broke out, and they were hard pressed to make a living during that period. Selling the Illinois farm and acting on the advice of some uncles and brothers-in-law who were living in...

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Throe, Cala L. – Obituary

Mrs. H. P. Throe (Cala L. Fovargue) Joseph, Oregon Mrs. H.P. Throe, a pioneer of Union and Wallowa counties, died after an operation performed at the Enterprise Hospital. Cala L. Fovargue was born May 2nd, 1854, in Elkriver Township, Clinton County Iowa. She was married to Hans P. Throe January 14th 1872. In November of 1877 they moved to Abilene, Kansas. After residing there for three years they moved to Oregon, making the journey by wagon. Three months after starting, they reached the Grande Ronde valley. In 1887, they moved to Joseph where they have resided ever since. Mrs. Throe was the mother of thirteen children, eight of whom are living and who attended the funeral. They are: Daniel F. Throe, Mrs. S. Ryenearson, Mrs. E. Guyan, Clarence G. Throe, Leo I. Throe, Guy F. Throe, Raymond w. Throe and Mrs. W.W. graham. There are five grandchildren. Mrs. Throe died at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 16th, 1917, being 63 years, three months and fourteen days of age. She was a faithful wife, a loving mother, a good neighbor and a good friend to all. Mrs. Throe was a charter member of the Silver Lake Rebekah Lodge, under whose auspice the funeral services were conducted. The funeral services were held at the I.O.O.F. hall, Sunday, August 19, at 2 p.m. and was well attended. The floral offerings were numerous...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles Moreau Harger

Charles Moreau Harger, Kansas editor and old time resident of the state, is known to thousands of people outside Kansas through his writings in magazines and through his active participation in several movements recognized as of national scope. He was born in Phelps, New York, in 1863, came west to Dickinson County in 1879 with his parents, and had resided in Abilene since that date. He was educated in a classical school. For several years he was a farmer and rancher, then teacher, being principal of the Hope City schools in 1887-88. He then became a reporter on the Abilene Daily Reflector and had been its editor for twenty-five years. Outside of newspaper work he had found time to contribute many articles on western financial and social topics and some fiction to the Century, Harper’s Magazine, Scribner’s, North American Review, Atlantic, Outlook, Saturday Evening Post, Independent and other magazies. He had edited several books. Honorary literary degrees have been conferred on him by Bethany College and Baker University. He was director and lecturer of the Department of Journalism of the University of Kansas 1905-10 and president of the National Association of Teachers of Journalism in 1909; was president of the Kansas Citizens’ League for the Promotion of a Sound Banking System, 1912-14; is a director of the Abilene National Bank; was member of the State Board of Corrections 1913-16...

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Throe, H. P. Mrs. – Obituary

Mrs. H.P. Throe (Cala L. Fovargue) Mrs. H.P. Throe, a pioneer of Union and Wallowa counties, died after an operation performed at the Enterprise Hospital. Cala L. Fovargue was born May 2nd, 1854, in Elkriver township, Clinton county Iowa. She was married to Hans P. Throe January 14th 1872. In November of 1877 they moved to Abilene, Kansas. After residing there for three years they moved to Oregon, making the journey by wagon. Three months after starting, they reached the Grande Ronde valley. In 1887, they moved to Joseph where they have resided ever since. Mrs. Throe was the mother of thirteen children, eight of whome are living and who attended the funeral. They are: Daniel F. Throe, Mrs. S. Ryenearson, Mrs. E. Guyan, Clarence G. Throe, Leo I. Throe, Guy F. Throe, Raymond w. Throe and Mrs. W.W. graham. There are five grandchildren. Mrs Throe died at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 16th, 1917, being 63 years, three months and fourteen days of age. She was a faithful wife, a loving mother, a good neighbor and a good friend to all. Mrs. Throe was a charter member of the Silver Lake Rebekah Lodge, under whose auspice the funeral services were conducted. The funeral services were held at the I.O.O.F. hall, Sunday, August 19, at 2 p.m. and was well attended. The floral offerings were numerous and very beautiful....

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Biography of John K. Forney

John K. Forney. Dairying is more and more looked upon as one of the most important means of elevating the general agricultural industry of the country. One of the pioneers in stimulating dairying as a farm resource in Western Kansas is Mr. John K. Forney of Abilene, president of the Belle Springs Creamery Company. This is the largest creamery company in Kansas owned exclusively by Kansas capital. Like many other great business enterprises it had been developed from small beginnings. Mr. Forney was at the beginning. He arrived in Kansas with limited capital in 1879, and bought a tract of raw land in Dickinson County, twelve miles southeast of Abilene. There he set up as a farmer and tilled his acres and was largely concerned with his individual home making and prosperity until 1886. In that year he with others organized the Belle Springs Creamery Company. It was then an entirely local concern. It took its name from its location at the old Belle Springs community. Mr. Forney had been president of this company since 1902. The company now operates large plants at Abilene, Salina and Emporia, the headquarters being at Abilene. Abilene is also the center of the immense butter manufacturing plant, where 2,500,000 pounds of butter are made every year. The company also handles other farm produce, especially poultry and eggs, and ships annually 200 carloads. At...

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Biography of William G. Anderson

William G. Anderson. A native of Kansas, a member of a prominent old family of Dickinson County, William Gibson Anderson had had a varied experience but early found his real work and vocation in the newspaper profession, and had been actively identified with a number of papers in Southern Kansas. He is now editor and proprietor of the Evening Free Press at Winfield. He was born on a farm near Abilene, Kansas, July 30, 1874, attended the public schools of Abilene, graduating from high school in 1894, and his college alma mater is Baker University at Baldwin. He was graduated from Baker in 1898, with the degree Ph. B. While in university he became a member of the Alpha Omega, which subsequently was amalgamated with the Delta Tau Delta, the best known and oldest among the college fraternities. On leaving college Mr. Anderson taught science in the Dickinson County High School at Chapman, Kansas, two years. In 1900 he went to Las Vegas, New Mexico, and became a reporter on the Las Vegas Daily Optic, owned by his cousins, the Allen Brothers. In August, 1902, Mr. Anderson bought a half interest in the Traveler at Arkansas City, and was connected with the news and business department of that paper for five years. Selling out in 1907 he went with the Iola Daily Record at Iola, which subsequently was sold...

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