Location: Chelsea Kansas

Biography of John Gardner Shelden

John Gardner Shelden, of El Dorado, had made himself a man of success and influential leadership in spite of handicaps and obvious disadvantages. In his early life he was a farmer and school teacher, lost a leg in the railroad service, continued to fight the good fight regardless of physical conditions and in recent years had become one of the leading oil and gas operators in this section of the state. There are many sound reasons why the name Shelden rings honorable and true in Butler County. It is good sound Ameriean stock, of the pioneer type. The story of the trials and sufferings of Mr. Shelden’s mother is one that can not be too often repeated. Another son of the family was the late Alvah Shelden, who came to rank as one of Kansas’ foremost newspaper men in ability and influence and the results of whose career will always be impressed upon Butler County’s history. The life of John Gardner Shelden began with his birth at Helena in one of the southern counties of Texas, May 27, 1858. His parents were Benjamin and Louisa (Vaught) Shelden. His father was of Pennsylvania-Dutch descent. He was a man of Union sentiments in a district of slave holders, and because of his independence of views he was shot and killed in his own dooryard by a Southern sympathizer. That tragedy came...

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Biography of Nannie C. Ellis Mrs.

Mrs. Nannie C. Ellis. A member of a prominent old family of Butler County, Mrs. Ellis, who now lives in El Dorado, was left a widow more than thirty years ago and since then had not only reared and carefully trained her children but had successfully managed her business affairs. Mrs. Ellis owned a fine farm in the vicinity of Chelsea, Butler County, and is a type of the courageous and independent spirited Kansas woman. Nannie Catherine McDaniel was born five miles south of Decatur, Illinois, on a farm, June 1, 1864. Her McDaniel ancestors came across the Atlantic Ocean and landed at Savannah, Georgia, about 1771 and were early colonists in the South. Her grandfather was named Edwin Eldridge McDaniel, his mother’s maiden name having been Eldridge. He was born in Tennessee. When a boy of fifteen he ran away from home and joined a party of “squirrel hunters” to serve under the indomitable General Jackson in the War of 1812. He enlisted for that service under the name of Edwin Eldridge, and was present at the Battle of New Orleans. His home when he went to the war was in Eastern Tennessee. A few years after his marriage he removed to the vicinity of Decatur, Illinois, where he homesteaded a farm and where he spent the rest of his life. He was in Illinois before the Indians...

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Biography of Mary M. (Lamb) Shelden Mrs.

Mrs. Mary M. (Lamb) Shelden. Among the interesting names belonging to El Dorado is that of Shelden, which since 1874 had been identified with civic progress, advancement and education here. The late Alvah Shelden, who for thirty years was owner and editor of the Walnut Valley Times, was one of the best known of Butler County’s citizens and did much to encourage development and a high form of government, and is survived by his widow, Mrs. Mary M. (Lamb) Shelden, who is widely and favorably known because of her activities, particularly in connection with El Dorado’s library. Mrs. Shelden was born at Troy, Geauga County, Ohio, April 19, 1856, and is a daughter of Chester and Anne (Crook) Lamb. The family originated in the State of New York, and it is probable that the family was founded there by the grandfather of Mrs. Shelden, a native of England. Chester Lamb was born in the Empire State, in 1816, and, being left an orphan at the age of nine years, went to Troy, Ohio, where he was reared in the family of his uncle, Gayland Lamb. Mr. Lamb received an ordinary public school education and adopted farming and stockraising as his vocation in life, and gradually developed into a breeder of registered horses, eventually acquiring much more than a local reputation as a breeder of race horses. In 1869, with...

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Biography of Chester C. Shelden

Chester C. Shelden has followed in the profession which his father, the late Alvah Shelden, did much to dignify and honor, and is now proprietor and editor of the Walnut Valley Times at El Dorado, his father’s old paper. The late Alvah Shelden was for thirty years owner and editor of the Walnut Valley Times. He was born at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, January 13, 1849, a son of Benjamin and Louisa (Vaught) Shelden, the former of German and the latter of Dutch ancestry. When Alvah was three years old his parents removed to Little Rock, Arkansas, and a year or so later to Helena in Karnes County, Texas. Benjamin Shelden was shot and killed in 1859 in his own door yard by a Southern sympathizer because of Mr. Shelden’s fearless and outspoken anti-slavery sentiments. Martin Vaught, the brother of Mrs. Benjamin Shelden, then living in Jefferson County, Kansas, started at once for Texas to bring back his widowed sister and her five children. He made the journey on horseback, starting early in October, 1859, and made the trip in thirty-five days. After settling up the affairs of his brother-in-law, he started for Kansas in May, 1860, in a covered wagon drawn by five yoke of oxen. Fifty head of cattle and eight horses were also driven along, and the trip to Kansas consumed six weeks. There were adventures...

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