Location: Anderson County KS

Biography of Aaron Jacob Lesh

A. J. Lesh at different stages in his career had been a successful teacher, merchant, pharmacist, physician and oil refiner. He is now head of the Lesh Oil Refining Company of Arkansas City, and through his business energy and activities had contributed one of the most important local industries to this section of Southern Kansas. Mr. Lesh had been a resident of Kansas for over thirty years. For a man who had done so much on his own account it is natural that Mr. Lesh should take justifiable pride and interest in his line of worthy American ancestors. His lineage goes back to Germany. Either before or shortly after coming to America they identified themselves with that splendid sect of people known as Moravians or German Moravian, and subsequent generations of the family were Dunkards. Mr. Lesh is in the seventh generation of the family in America. Going back to the immigrant, we find him in Balthasar Loesch, as the name was spelled in its German form and as it was retained through several generations in this country. Balthasar Loesch and his wife, Susan R. Loesch, lived at Gensheim, Germany, near Worms. In 1710, not long after the close of the thirty years war, they were part of a German colony sent to America by Queen Ann. They settled in the Province of New York in 1713. There were...

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Biography of James B. Jones M. D.

James B. Jones, M. D. For almost a half century Dr. James B. Jones had been in the active practice of his noble profession in Anderson County, Kansas, and while widely known and universally appreciated in other honorable capacities, it is as the skilled and experienced physician and surgeon that his people love him most. Doctor Jones was born October 21, 1847, in Randolph County, Indiana, in one of the picturesque little pioneer cabins that have long since given way in that section to the march of progress, but the memory of which still lingers along with childhood’s recollections. His parents were Llewellyn A. and Lucinda Jane (Parsons) Jones. The father of Doctor Jones was born in 1811 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, coming of Welsh stock, and he died in 1895, at Abilene, Kansas. His business was farming and he was also a minister in the United Brethren faith. In 1830 he was married to Lucinda Jane Parsons, who was a daughter of Robert J. Parsons, a veteran of the Revolutionary war. She was born in Randolph County, Indiana, and died there in 1850. To this marriage nine children were born, seven sons and two daughters, both of the latter dying in infancy. The sons were: William T., David, Lewis, Llewellyn A., all deceased; James B., Henry F., now of Chanute, Kansas, and John M., of Oklahoma. James B....

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Biography of Charles H. Johnson

Charles H. Johnson, of Colony, during his long and active career had been a farmer, insurance man and auctioneer, editor and publisher and also an inventor of no ordinary ability and success. He was born at Forest Home, Iowa, July 2, 1856, a son of James C. and Sarah Ann (Swangle) Johnson. Both parents were natives of Ohio. They went to Iowa as pioneers and after living in that state for a number of years came to Kansas in 1873 and here also they identified themselves with the pioneer element in Linn County. The father was an active farmer and died in 1876, while the mother survived until 1900. Charles H. Johnson was the second in a family of ten children, eight sons and two daughters, eight of whom are still living. He lived at home on the farm until he was twenty years of age, and acquired his education partly in Iowa and partly in Linn County, Kansas. After that he continued farming in Linn and Crawford counties until 1885, in which year he removed to Colony. Here he took up the business of auctioneer and insurance agent, but in 1895 he bought the Colony Free Press, of which he was editor and publisher for fourteen years. In 1903 Mr. Johnson also established the Elk Falls Journal, but sold that paper in 1904. In 1905 the plant of...

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Biography of Ancil F. Hatten

Ancil F. Hatten has been continuously editor and owner of the Westphalia Times at Westphalia since 1889. This is the only newspaper of Westphalia, and is one of the oldest journals of opinion in Anderson County. It was founded in 1885 by A. D. Reed, and four years later Mr. Hatten took charge and had been responsible for the large circulation and influence the Times had enjoyed throughout the past thirty years. Mr. Hatten is a former postmaster of Westphalia and had long been an influential figure in democratic politics in that section of the state. He came to Kansas when a boy, having been born in Iowa City, Iowa, January 11, 1869. His parents were Jacob and Frances (Payer) Hatten. His father was born at Springfield, Ohio, March 14, 1840, son of David Hatten, also a native of Ohio. Jacob Hatten in early life became a miller and millwright and moved out to Iowa. Soon after reaching his majority he enlisted as a private in Company K of the Thirteenth Iowa Infantry and saw three years active service in the Union Army. He was wounded both at Shiloh and at Vicksburg. When the war was over he located at Washington, Iowa, as a miller, and in 1879 brought his familiy to Kansas, continuing the business of miller at Burlington. In 1884 he removed to Westphalia and is still...

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Biography of John Carey Fear, M. D.

John Carey Fear, M. D. Through the long period of forty years Doctor Fear had given his ability and service, only limited by his physical energies, to the people of Waverly and vicinity as a physician and surgeon. Without question he is the leading doctor of the county and his standing among his professional brethren and citizens in general is indicative of that leadership. Another distinction that he enjoys and which came unsought is his membership in the State Legislature in 1917. Doctor Fear was born at Duncansville, Ohio, November 9, 1855, a son of Dr. Francis and Mary Ellen (Sparks) Fear. His parents were also natives of Ohio. His father was born December 11, 1824, and died at Waverly, Kansas, in 1902. He was a man of unusual experience and abilities. To a great many people in Kansas and elsewhere he was known as a prominent Baptist and a minister of that faith. While he gave much to religious work, he was by profession a physician. He had a military record, having enlisted as a private in Company E of the One Hundred and Eighty-second Ohio Infantry, and during his service was chiefly detailed for surgical work. Dr. Francis Fear came to Kansas in 1872, and spent the rest of his active life practicing medicine at Greeley, Westphalia, and Waverly. Francis Fear and Mary Sparks were married in...

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Biography of John Thomas Axtell, M. D.

John Thomas Axtell, M. D. In thirty-six years of practice in Kansas, most of which time had been spent in Newton, Doctor Axtell had made a distinguished name, especially in the field of surgery. He founded Axtell Hospital and had been at its head and its principal surgeon since 1886, and had enjoyed more than a local reputation as a surgeon and hospital administrator. Doctor Axtell had spent most of his life in Kansas and represents a family of early settlers here. His birth occurred at Roseville, Illinois, August 11, 1856. His ancestry goes back to a prominent English family. There was one of the name who served with the rank of Colonel in Cromwell’s army and assisted in the beheading of King Charles I. Later, after the Restoration, he was himself beheaded during the reign of King Charles h. In the meantime, two brothers of the name had immigrated to America in 1642 and settled in the colony of Massachusetts. One of these brothers was the direct ancestor of Doctor Axtell. John Milton Axtell, father of Doctor Axtell, was born in Mercer County in Western Pennsylvania, February 27, 1828. In 1838, when he was ten years of age, his parents moved out to Roseville, Illinois, where he grew up and married and took up the vocation of farmer. In 1865 he joined the pioneers of Kansas, locating at...

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Biography of Will R. Black

Will R. Black is a native Kansan, grew up and received his education in this state, and is now one of the capable oil inspectors under the state government, with headquarters and home at Coffeyville. He traces his ancestry back to a family of Scotch origin, and one that was planted in Virginia during colonial days. His grandfather Andy Black, was born in Pulaski County, Virginia, in 1814, was reared and married in that state, and in 1838 went to Western Indiana, where he followed farming and stock raising until his death. He died at Greencastle, Indiana, in 1872. He was a democrat and a member of the Baptist Church. Andy Black married Clara McCammack, who was born in Virginia in 1816 and died in Indiana in 1878. Their children were: James, mentioned below; Jackson, who served with a Kansas regiment in the Civil war and has since followed farming in this state; Seleta, who died at Welda, Kansas, the wife of H. T. Hill, also deceased, who was a farmer and stock raiser; Robert, who lives at Welda, Kansas, was with an Indiana regiment in the Civil war and is a farmer; Thursa, who died at Welda, Kansas, unmarried; and Nellie, who died at Welda also unmarried. James Black, father of the deputy state oil inspector, was born October 12, 1835, in Pulaski County, Virginia, and was about...

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Biography of Harry W. Bouck

Harry W. Bouck. The proprietor and editor of the Crawford County Enterprise, at Girard, Kansas, is a worthy representative of the younger journalistic element of Crawford County. To a very considerable extent, it is this element in any community, especially outside of the larger cities, which infuses spirit and zest into the activities of the place. It is this element whose entrance upon the arena of active life dates not farther back than a decade and a half of years which monopolizes most of the vigor, zeal and pushing energy which keeps the nerves of the newspaper world ramifying through all the lesser towns of the country strung to the full tension of strenuous endeavor. A pronounced type of the class of tireless workers thus described, Mr. Bouck has been identified with the newspaper business since his thirteenth year, and, in spite of his youth, his experience has been broad and his training comprehensive. Harry W. Bouck was born at Greeley, Anderson County, Kansas, May 10, 1892, and is a son of William and Zua (Wilcox) Bouck. The family originated either in Germany or Holland, and it is probable that the great-great-grandfather of Harry W. Bouck was the original emigrant to New York. His great-grandfather was Aaron Bouck, a carpenter and builder of the Empire state, who died at Albany, in 1879. Christopher Bouck, the grandfather of Harry W.,...

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Biography of Prof. Nathaniel A. Baker

Prof. Nathaniel A. Baker. In each line of endeavor, in each of the learned professions, the personality of the man of force of character is revealed. With increasing experience and added years the forceful individual attains a broader grasp upon his subject, and with recurrence of problems and perplexities he is able to handle them in a manner which affords greater satisfaction. Such perfection is not attained in a single day nor in a single year, but the man of parts soon finds his place and forces his way to his cherished goal. In the field of education, Prof. Nathaniel A. Baker has attained merited prominence through ability, scholarship, hard and conscientious work and grasping of opportunities, and from the rank of a humble country school-master has elevated himself to the position of city superintendent of schools of the flourishing and prosperous city of Cherryvale. Professor Baker was born on a farm in Coffey County, Kansas, January 30, 1869, and is a son of Tim and Addie W. (Woodward) Baker, and a member of a family that emigrated from England to the New England colony before the outbreak of the American Revolution. His grandfather, Alpheus Baker, was born in Vermont, in 1794, fought as a soldier in the War of 1812, and subsequently migrated as a pioneer to Noble County, Indiana, and there passed the remainder of his life...

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