Location: Arkansas City Kansas

Biography of Edward P. Ray

Edward P. Ray. Fortunate is the man who finds his work in the world early in life and concentrates all his energies upon discharging his duties and responsibilities with credit and efficiency. One of this fortunate class was Edward P. Ray of Arkansas City. His father and grandfather before him were in the produce business, established one of the early concerns of that kind in Southern Michigan, and the old house is still flourishing and doing a large business at Coldwater, Michigan, today. Edward P. Ray grew up in that business atmosphere and after breaking home ties and family associations he readily found places of responsibility with other concerns. In the course of his career he came out to Kansas, and for a number of years was manager of the A. S. Kininmonth Company, a produce concern whose activities are practically state wide in Kansas. Mr. Ray was born at Coldwater, Michigan, December 1, 1875, and came of old American Colonial stock. His paternal ancestors settled in New York in the early days. His grandfather, Henry Ray, was born at Oaks Corners in Ontario County, New York, in 1823. For a number of years he was a grocer at Phelps, New York, and organized the produce business which his son, E. F. Ray, still conducts. Henry Ray died at Coldwater, Michigan, in 1885. He came to voting age when...

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Biography of William Clinton Bardo

William Clinton Bardo, vice president of the Security National Bank of Arkansas City, was a pioneer in the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma, was a homesteader and farmer there for a number of years, but finally moved across the line to Arkansas City, where he had become prominent in financial and business affairs. Mr. Bardo is of an old Pennsylvania family. The lineage goes back originally to France. Four brothers of the name during the turbulent times that led to the French Revolution came from France and landed in Pennsylvania, and from there their families became widely scattered. One of the number, Abraham Bardo, settled near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and left two sons, Abraham and Daniel. The latter was W. C. Bardo’s paternal grandfather and was born in Pennsylvania in about 1790. Daniel Bardo and his wife in about 1820 moved to that part of Pennsylvania later organized into Penn Township of Lycoming County, and he had to make a road through the forest to reach his homestead. The emigrants left the river bottoms, for the “hills, big trees, good lands” was their motto. Daniel Bardo lived the sturdy life of a farmer, and died there in 1863. His wife, Catherine (Sellers) Bardo, died in Lycoming County when ninety-six years of age. Seven children were born in the pioneer home of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Bardo. They were George, Sarah, Samuel,...

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Biography of C. B. Goodrich

C. B. Goodrich. A life of quiet effectiveness, marked by a record of many duties well done and many responsibilities faithfully fulfilled, was that of the late, C. B. Goodrich, who died in Lawrence in 1910 at the age of sixty-six. He was one of those quiet unassuming men, rarely known to the world in general, but worthily filling the niche in the affairs of life allotted to them. Of Canadian nativity, born at Sarnia, he was brought to the United States when very young and was reared in and about Kankakee, Illinois. The first service in his quiet routine came with the outbreak of the Civil war. He enlisted under the stars and stripes as a member of the One-Hundred and Fifty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and as a private soldier did his part and share in preserving the Union. After his marriage to Mary E. Misner, he came to Kansas in 1879, and located near Valley Falls. By good management and industry as a farmer he accumulated a competence, and about 1898 moved to Topeka, where he lived until 1906. He then moved to Lawrence, where he spent his remaining years with his family, honored and respected for his many sterling qualities. He never aspired to public life, but in the round of commonplace accomplishment and in the faithful and intelligent performance of every task that was allotted...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles A. Baker

Charles A. Baker of Wichita lacked only three or four months of being a native son of Kansas. He has spent practically his entire career in this state, and by close attention to his business as a plumber has built up one of the leading establishments at Wichita, and his business is registered under the state laws. He was born at Rio, Wisconsin, June 30, 1870, and it was in September of the same year that his parents moved to Arkansas City, Kansas. After a public school education, gained in Wichita, he began an apprenticeship at the plumbing trade, and followed it as a journeyman until 1900. Since then for more than fifteen years he has been in the plumbing business for himself, first at Hutchinson but since 1902 at Wichita. Mr. Baker is a thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the Mystic Shrine, and is also an Elk. His father was an old soldier, so he has continued the military record of the family and is now serving as a regimental quarter-master with the rank of captain in the Second Kansas Infantry. He has been on the border at Eagle Pass and San Antonio, Texas, since July 1, 1916. On December 4, 1895, Mr. Baker married Miss Lillie E. Bennett of Wichita. They have a daughter Marcia Helen, who is now a student in the Wichita High...

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Biography of George W. Robinson

George W. Robinson of Wichita has been a Kansan forty years. His first work in this state was as an educator at Winfield, continuing from June, 1876, to June, 1879. He soon turned to the more congenial work of a business career. The field in which his energies have found their most successful issues has been in banking, and there are a number of flourishing institutions in the state which were organized or at some time in their career have received the benefit of his excellent judgment and financial ability. Born February 20, 1855, in Piqua, Ohio, he went to Illinois when a boy and was a student in Hedding College at Abingdon, in that state, until 1873. While in Illinois he taught in the country schools of MacDonough, Fulton and Adams counties, and during the school years of 1874-75-76 was principal of schools at LaPrairie, Illinois. He next accepted the superintendency of the schools of Winfield, Kansas, and held that position from June, 1876, to June, 1879. In June of the latter year he became associated with his uncle, M. L. Read, and brothers, M. L. and W. C. Robinson, in the M. L. Reads Bank at Winfield. Since then his business record has been almost exclusively in the field of banking. In July, 1884, the M. L. Reads Bank was merged into the First National Bank of...

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Biography of Owen M. Thomas

Owen M. Thomas. The Citizens State Bank of Bronson, of which Owen M. Thomas is vice president, is an institution which had grown rapidly and prospered since it was established less than ten years ago, and its success is largely due to the character of the men entrusted with its executive management. Mr. Thomas had been actively identified with banking for ten years, both in Oklahoma and in Kansas. Though a young man, his career had apparently been one of rapid accomplishment, and he had achieved as much in ten years as many men do in their entire active life. Mr. Thomas was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, February 4, 1883, and spent much of his early youth in [p.2118] Oklahoma. His grandfather, Owen W. Thomas, was a native of Wales, afterwards became a farmer and property owner at Toulon, Illinois, where he died. Owen W. Thomas, Jr., father of the Bronson banker, was born at Toulon in Stark County, Illinois, in 1851. He grew up in his native county, and spent his brief active career as a farmer. He died at Oskaloosa, Iowa, in March, 1883, a few weeks after the birth of his son, Owen M. The maiden name of his wife was Dora Eisiminger, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1856. By her first husband she had just one child, Owen Mitchell Thomas. She afterwards married E....

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Biography of Oscar Maxel Yount

Oscar Maxel Yount. The person of this sketch, Oscar Maxel Yount, is perhaps the most wonderful example, everything being taken into consideration, of what a determined will-power can accomplish that the Sunflower State had ever produced. He had been a lawyer and engaged in the active practice of his profession since June 22, 1905. He is a native son of Kansas, and the work he had done in his profession and in civic affairs had brought him a place of special esteem throughout the state and especially in his home community of Galena. He was not born with a “silver spoon in his mouth,” but was handicapped from birth with an extreme case of near-sightedness of vision which is equally as bad, and probably worse, as that of the immortal Blackstone. Mr. Yount never had but little more than 3 per cent of far-sighted vision according to optometrical measurement, his case being one that puzzles the best eye-specialists in this country. He was born on a farm in Cowley County, Kansas, July 28, 1883, and represents one of the early pioneer families of that section. He was started to school at the age of six years under the most trying circumstances, the teacher neglecting to teach him because he was unable to discern the words on the blackboard in the front of the schoolroom and advising his parents to...

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Biography of L. L. Warner

L. L. Warner, who is successfully engaged in business as a dairyman of Bartlesville, was born in Pennsylvania on the 17th of March, 1867, a son of Joseph and Catherine (Warner) Warner, who though of the same name were not related. They removed to Illinois six weeks after the birth of their son, L. L. Warner, settling in Fulton County, that state, where Joseph Warner carried on farming until 1879. In that year the family home was established in Fremont County, Iowa, where Mr. Warner of this review remained until he was twenty-three years of age, when he was married and made his way to Nebraska. He devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits in the latter state for three years, after which he spent another year in Iowa and then disposed of his property removing to Arkansas City, Kansas, where he made his home for eighteen months. On the expiration of that period he settled in southern Oklahoma and for two and a half years followed farming in the Chickasaw Nation, while subsequently he spent five years as an agriculturist in Nowata County. He next took up his abode in Bartlesville, where he was engaged in teaming for more than fourteen Years and then conducted a grocery store for fourteen months. It was in 1920 that he embarked in the dairy business with but two cows and through...

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Biography of Edward F. Green

Edward F. Green. One of the most interesting citizens of Kansas lives at Arkansas City in the person of Edward F. Green. Mr. Green had known Kansas as a resident upwards of half a century. He came out to the state in 1869. His life’s activities have been chiefly identified with agriculture and with the farming interests. However, he was trained and educated as a lawyer and admitted to practice at Ottawa, Illinois, in the winter of 1864, but never followed that profession. He devoted his attention to farming and stock raising in Kansas, at which he was fairly successful. He had the point of view not only of the farmer, but also of the man of affairs, one who is able to look broadly at the interests concerning his own class, and it was this breadth of mind which had brought him at different times into more than local prominence. Mr. Green was born at Ottawa, Illinois, July 14, 1842. His people were among the pioneers of that fine old Northern Illinois city. His American ancestry goes back to England and to the times of the Pilgrim immigration in the Mayflower. Through his mother he is connected with the Gen. Israel Putnam family. Mr. Green’s grandfather was Robert Green, an old New Englander. Henry Green, father of Edward F., was born at Westmoreland, New Hampshire, in 1804, grew...

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Biography of Clarence E. Beck

Clarence E. Beck. When he was sixteen years old Clarence E. Beck left the high school at Arkansas City and by practical work began to discover the extent of his capabilities and his possibilities in the business field. For a couple of years he worked in retail grocery stores. In July, 1894, he went with the Ranney-Davis Mercantile Company. He was put to work as a fruit sorter. Six months later he was advanced to the packing room. Another six months and he was assigned to a place at the bill desk, and after a year was promoted to the shipping desk. In these different positions he not only showed a proper diligence and faithfulness of performance, but also indicated his capacity for increased responsibilities. The company soon took him out of the general office and sent him on the road and put him on the sales force. He sold goods for Ranney-Davis for a number of years, and was then brought back to the office as cashier of the company. His particular ability was in handling credits, and he was eventually given charge of the credit department, and along with that position he had since acquired the executive offices of secretary and treasurer. He is now secretary and treasurer and credit man for the Ranney-Davis Mercantile Company, one of the largest wholesale concerns in Southern Kansas. The man...

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Biography of Edna L. Johnson, Miss

Miss Edna L. Johnson. In no other field have woman’s work and influence proved such ennobling factors as in the sphere of education. The instruction and the character training of the children of Kansas are largely in the hands of devoted women, and many of the most responsible posts in the school system of the state are filled by woman teachers. The entire school system of Cowley County is under the supervision of Miss Edna L. Johnson, county superintendent of schools, and the people of the county recognize her unqualified fitness for the duties of the office. Miss Johnson was first elected county superintendent in the fall of 1914 and was re-elected in 1916, so that she is now in her second term. She first took office May 10, 1915. Under her supervision are 137 schools, 166 teachers, and an enrollment of 3,350 scholars. Her office as county superintendent is in the courthouse at Winfield. Miss Johnson had spent much of her life in Kansas, but was born near Danville, Illinois, daughter of Josiah Johnson and Emma (Mosier) Johnson, both of whom were born near Danville. In the Johnson lineage there is an admixture of Polish stock, and a number of generations back the family was connected with Count Sandusky’s relationship. The Johnsons were early settlers in this country and were pioneers in Kentucky. Josiah Johnson was born in...

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Biography of Forrest M. Hartley

Forrest M. Hartley’s talents made him foremost in the activities of college life while he was a student in Baker University. For a number of years he was actively identified with Kansas journalism and then returned to Baldwin City where he is now one of the leading merchants. Mr. Hartley was born at Indianola in Vermillion County, Illinois, July 26, 1874. He is one of the three children of George S. and Caroline (Vayhinger) Hartley. George S. Hartley, now a resident of Arkansas City, had for many years been a conspicuous figure in the political, banking and civic life of this state. Mr. Forrest M. Hartley had lived a very active life. He began his education in the public schools of his native locality. His parents lived for some five years in Illinois, removing then to Fowler, Indiana, where he received his early education, and he also passed part of his youth in Oklahoma. The father was Indian agent at the Osage Agency at Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and that was the family home for about eleven years. In the fall of 1889 Forrest Hartley entered the Baker University at Baldwin, and remained a student two years. From there he went to Wentworth Military Academy at Lexington, Missouri, was a member of its student body one year, and while there founded and became editor of the Wentworth Military Academy Trumpeter. That...

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Biography of William C. Suttle

William C. Suttle. Under modern conditions the water works of any thriving and prosperous community is one of the most important branches of the civic service, and its management requires abilities far beyond the ordinary. Fredonia boasts of one of the best water systems in Southeastern Kansas, and much of the credit for the present excellent conditions existing in this enterprising city is due to the capable and experienced work of the superintendent of the water works, William C. Suttle, who had been connected with this department for about eleven years and had been in his present position since 1913. Mr. Suttle is a native son of Kansas, and was born on a farm in Johnson County, July 27, 1870, his parents being Benjamin O. and Abigail (Hazelett) Suttle. The family is of English origin and had resided in America since colonial days when the original emigrant located in Virginia. Benjamin O. Suttle was born in 1821, in Virginia, and was reared and educated in the Old Dominion state, from whence he went to Kentucky as a young man and engaged in farming in the vicinity of Franklin. He was married in that state and in 1870 migrated to Kansas, settling in Johnson County, where he farmed for two years. He then changed his residence to Coffey County, settled on a farm, and continued to be engaged in agricultural...

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Biography of William M. Sleeth, Maj.

Maj. William M. Sleeth was one of the founders of the modern civic and industrial community of Arkansas City. He was secretary and treasurer of the original townsite company. He was a keen and resourceful business man, but his practical energies were equalled by his splendid public spirit and his readiness to sacrifice his own interests in behalf of some enterprise that would bring benefit to many. Major Sleeth justly earned the honor and esteem of his community during his life, and his death at Arkansas City, September 26, 1906, was felt as a distinct loss to the community, though he was at that time in the fullness of years and achievements. Major Sleeth was born near Cambridge, Ohio, August 26, 1832. His father, David Sleeth, was born in Londonderry, County Donegal, Ireland, in 1800, and was an infant when his parents, in 1801, came to America and located in Guernsey County, Ohio. David Sleeth spent his active life as a farmer in Ohio and died at Cambridge in 1849. He married Margaret McCracken, who was born in County Donegal, Ireland, in 1801, and died at Cambridge, Ohio, in 1881. In the vicinity of his native town William M. Sleeth spent his boyhood and youth, and his experiences were largely those of a farmer and rural resident until the outbreak of the great War of the Rebellion in 1861....

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Biography of Carroll L. Swarts

Carroll L. Swarts. During his dignified and successful career as a lawyer in Kansas, covering a period of over thirty years, Judge Swarts gained distinction by his long and capable service on the district bench and had made his profession a medium of important service to several communities in the state. His name is of German origin, but the family had been identified with America since colonial times. His ancestors were prominent people in Maryland. Judge Swarts’ grandfather, Abraham D. Swarts, was born near Abingdon, Maryland, in 1782. He married Ann Bond Carroll, of the prominent Maryland family of that name. Abraham D. Swarts took part in the early migration to the West, and long before the time of railroads or canals he crossed the Alleghanies, floated down the Ohio River, and after one year in Jefferson County, Illinois, moved to Knox County, all of that part of the state being a wilderness, and acquired a tract of land from which he subsequently laid off the town site of Abingdon, named in honor of his birthplace in Maryland. He did much to build up that town and give it its fine character as a place of homes, churches and good schools. Both he and his wife died at Abingdon, and none of their children are still living. Benjamin C. Swarts, father of Judge Swarts, was born in Jefferson County,...

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