Location: Clay County MO

Biographical Sketch of S. L. Doty

S. L. Doty was born in Greene county, Tennessee, August 13, 1831. His parents, Jesse and Rebecca Doty, were both natives of Tennessee. Azre Doty, grand-father of S. L. Doty, was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, and was under General Marion, ” the Swamp Fox.” Our subject was educated in the common schools, and at the age of eighteen began to learn the cabinet-making trade, which he made his business until 1865, and since that time he has been farming. He came to Missouri in 1853 and settled in Liberty, Clay county, where he remained four years, then removed to Platte City, Platte county, and in 1865 came to this county and settled on a farm, where he now resides. Mr. Doty was united in marriage February 21, 1858, to Miss Mary M. Wills, who was born in Clay county, Missouri, August 18, 1840. Her family is of Scottish descent, her grandfather having emigrated from Scotland to this country before the Revolutionary War. Mr. and Mrs. Doty have three children: Charles F., born July 31, 1861; Augustus H., born December 14, 1865; and Clara B., born September 26,...

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Biographical Sketch of William Farthing

William Farthing, of Albemarle County, Virginia, married Polly Vaughn, and settled in Kentucky. They had Sarah, Elizabeth, William, John, Thomas, and Shelton B. Sarah married James Hunt, who settled in Montgomery County in 1836. Elizabeth married William P. Hill, of Kentucky, who also settled in Montgomery County in 1836. William married Nancy Wood, and settled in Iowa. John married Lucena J. Moran, and settled in Missouri City, Missouri. Shelton B. married Lucy A. Glenn and settled in Montgomery County in...

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Biography of William Groom

William Groom, of England, emigrated to America, and settled in Kentucky, where he married Sally Parker. They had Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Jacob, Aaron, Susan, Elizabeth, and Sally. All except Susan came to Missouri. Abraham and Isaac settled in Clay County. Jacob and Aaron settled in Montgomery County in 1810. Jacob was a ranger under Captain Callaway, and, in company with Jackey Stewart, was scouting in the woods the day Callaway was killed. A man named Dougherty was killed the same day, at Salt Peter Cave, not far from Groom’s farm. After they had killed him the Indians cut his body into pieces, and hung them on a pole. As Groom and Stewart approached the cave, they discovered the horrible spectacle, and about the same instant were fired upon by the Indians. Both horses were wounded, Stewart’s mortally, and he also received a gunshot wound in his heel. After running a short distance, his horse fell, and soon expired; and he being unable to walk, on account of his wound, Groom generously helped him on to his own horse, and they both succeeded in making their escape to Fort Clemson. Groom was an uneducated man, but generous hearted and possessed of strong common sense. He was a leading politician of his day, a Democrat of the Andrew Jackson stripe, and was elected to the Legislature several times. He was a...

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Biographical Sketch of Mrs. William R. Samuel

(See Downing) Minnie L., daughter of Clement and Rebecca Caroline (Bryan) Hayden, was born at Chouteau April 5, 1879. She was educated in Liberty, Mo. Married on April 21, 1901, William Ruben Samuel, born February 2, 1869 in Calloway County, Missouri. He graduated May 28, 1902, from Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri. They are the parents of Rebecca Ann Samuel, born Oct. 3, 1917. Mr. Samuel is Secretary of the State Bankers Association, and is a Mason and Odd Fellow. He was for four years State Insurance Commissioner. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel are members of the Methodist church, and residents of Oklahoma City. Rebecca Wright, born January 1, 1814, married Joel Mayes Bryan, born October 22, 1809. She died April 5, 1882, and he died August 7, 1899. They were the parents of Rebecca Caroline Bryan, born January 30, 1850, who married March 7, 1869, Clement Hayden, born March 20, 1846 in Renfon County, Arkansas. Mrs. Hayden died July 11, 1916 and Mr. Hayden died May 2,...

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Biography of Joseph G. Waters, Capt.

Joseph G. Waters, soldier, publicist, author of note, public speaker, lawyer, of Topeka, is an individuality out of the ordinary. As a soldier, his services were a credit to his country, and himself, and his five wounds received in action are witnesses of his activity. As an author his published utterances have been rarely seen outside his own family circle owing to the retiemce and innate modesty of the writer, but throughout his writings, whether prose or poetry, forcefulness, pleasing diction and pathos of high order predominated. For three decades his services have been in demand as a public speaker covering a wide variety of subjects and including patriotic political, economic and social questions. On the occasion of Queen Vietoria’s jubilee, he delivered the address in Topeka before those of English nativity or descent, and this was so highly esteemed by her majesty as to be one of six, out of thousands, to be selected as especially pleasing to the queen and worthy of being engrossed and placed in the English archives. For this Captain Waters received a grateful letter of thanks inspired by her majesty. For nearly half a century he had been one of the leading lawyers of Kansas and although past the three-score-and-ten years of life, he continues to be a conspicuous figure in the legals affairs of the state. Captain Joseph G. Waters was born...

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Biography of A. P. Fonda

A. P. Fonda has made a most creditable record as a farmer, as a lawyer and particularly as a citizen whose devotion to the welfare of the great majority Is a recognized fact. A resident of Independence, he was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, March 30, 1878, his parents being Anthony Philip and Laura D. (Wier) Fonda, the former a native of the state of New York and the latter of New Jersey. His parents became acquainted and were married in Leavenworth, Kansas. The father conducted the first wholesale grocery in Kansas City, which place was then known as Port Fonda. He was a veteran of the Civil war, having served in the Union army, enlisting in Michigan as a member of a regiment of that state. In the course of the war he was captured by his own brother, who was with the Confederate forces. A. P. Fonda acquired his early education in the public schools of Kansas City, Missouri, following the removal of the family from Leavenworth, and later attended the Marmaduke Military Academy at Sweet Springs, Missouri. He next became a student in the Case School of Applied Sciences at Cleveland, Ohio, and afterward attended Union College at Schenectady, New York. About this time the Spanish-American war began and he attempted to join the army but because of some physical defects was refused. He therefore represented the...

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Biography of Harry Jiencke

For about a quarter of a century Harry Jiencke traveled about over the State of Kansas as a salesman, building up a large acquaintance and business relationship, but for the past twelve years had been prominently identified with the oil and gas and various other industrial affairs of Independence, where he is one of the well known citizens. Of an old German family of Mecklenburg, he came to America when only a youth. He was born May 27, 1858. His father, Joachim Jiencke, was born in Mecklenburg in 1806 and died there in 1869. He was a man of more than ordinary prominence. He had extensive farming and stock raising interests, was a member of the legal profession and held a judicial office, and during his service in the regular army went through the rebellion of 1848. He was a member of the Lutheran Church. His wife, Henrietta Ahrens, was born in Germany in 1818 and died there in venerable years in 1905. To their marriage were born a large family, fifteen children, and a brief record of them is as follows: William, now deceased; Gustav, a confectioner living in Chicago; Mina, who died in infancy; Louisa, still living in Mecklenburg, Germany, the widow of Henry Demin, who was a miller; Fritz, deceased; Karl, deceased; Marie, living in Mecklenburg, the widow of Otto Beutler, who was a confectioner; Panl,...

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Biography of William Leslie Porter

A public office is only an opportunity for rendering real service to the public. Whether that opportunity is utilized depends upon the man. Several years ago the people of Topeka elected William Leslie Porter commissioner of parks and public properties. When he entered office he was new to the duties, and he was practically without political experience. But he had exhibited other qualities far more important that political experience. He had a well defined ambition to do everything he could for the community welfare through the opportunity afforded by his office. Mr. Porter also had a reputation of having a strong will and ample determination to carry out any plan upon which he embarks. The results in the past two or three years stand as a splendid justification of his election as commissioner. Some brief survey of what had been accomplished in those two or three years is necessary to complate the personal record of Mr. Porter and is also an important chapter in Topeka municipal history. In the year 1914 one small playground was eatablished in one of the Topeka parks. The experiment was one of unqualified success from the standpoint of the parents, the neighborhood and the children. Then followed an association composed of members of the school board, the city commissioners and the Commercial Club. The association appointed a legislative committee. This committee appeared before the...

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Biography of James C. Shimer

Thirty years or association with the coal and feed business at Topeka had established for James C. Shimer a reputation for ability, resource and unflagging industry. He is one of the captains of suscess who have piloted their own craft to harbor. In his numerous varieties of experience, he had gained the good will of his fellow men, had made a place for himself in the business world and had served his county faithfully and well in public office, and out of all his struggles had evolved the belief that hard work rarely injures any one and that straightforward dealing always pays. His father, Caleb D. Shimer was born in Ohio, and as a young man went to Indiana, where he was engaged in the feed business until the Civil war came on. At that time he became keeper of a tollgate on the National Pike, outside of Indianapolis, the last one to be built in the county, and of this he continued keeper until the close of the war. He then returned to the feed business, but four years later purchased a small farm near Bethel, Indiana, which he continued to operate, with the making of candles as a side line, for many years. He died March 20, 1916, at the age of ninety-three years. Mr. Shimer married Ellen Bingham, who was born in Indiana, and they became...

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Biographical Sketch of Allen, Thomas

Allen, Thomas, son of Thomas and Anne C. (Russell ) Allen, was born October 19, 1849, at St. Louis, Mo. He was educated at the high school, Pittsfield, Mass., at the Williston Seminary, Easthampton, and then entered the Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., after which he studied art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, at Dilsseldorf, Germany, where he graduated from the master class in 1878, and afterward studied three years in France. He first exhibited his work in New York, at the National Academy of Design, in 1877, and has been represented in the National Academy at almost every exhibition since then. In 1882 and in 1884 was made an associate of the National Academy of Design. In 1880 he was elected a member of the Society of American Artists. His specialty is landscape and animal painting. After nearly ten years of foreign study, he opened his studio in the Pelham Studio on Boylston Street, Boston; not finding it sufficiently commodious, however, and meeting with marked success as a painter, he purchased a house on Commonwealth Avenue, in 1883, for a permanent home, and there built a large studio at the top of the house which he now occupies. Mr. Allen was first married in 1880, in Northampton, to Eleanor G., daughter of Prof. J. D. and Louisa (Goddard) Whitney of Cambridge, who left him one child;...

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Biography of Lawrence Pembroke Browne

Lawrence Pembroke Browne, father of Evan H., was born in Pennsylvania and his wife in Ohio. He came to Kansas City, Missouri, as a clerk for the firm of Northrop & Chick, one of the few business houses of any importance at that time, and later, in partnership with W. H. Chick, who yet survives, became the owner of the business. In 1884 this business, general merchandise, was incorporated by the Browne family, the Chick interests being then eliminated. Until the time of his death, in 1893, Lawrence Pembroke Browne continued at the head of this business, which was largely in the Mexican trade. The building of the railroads was the influence that caused its stsady progress westward, on through Kansas and Colorado and to Las Vegas, New Mexico, where there is a store at the present but the old business was sold in 1915. Mr. Browne in 1866 located in Junction City and then followed the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, settling at each tarminal, and later pursnod the same method along the Santa Fo Road. His whole time was given to his business affairs, in which he showed much enterprise. Evan H. Browne attended the schools in his native city and later Wyandotte Academy in Kansas City, Kansas, after which he went to work in the private banking house of Northrop & Son. After one year...

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Biography of Andrew Calvin Sewell

Andrew Calvin Sewell, a younger brother of J. B. Sewell, was born in Overton County, Tennessee, May 30, 1856. He was fifteen when the family came across the country in a prairie schooner to Montgomery County, Kansas, and in the meantime had attended public schools in Tennessee. While living on the farm southwest of Independence he continued his education in the district schools and in the fall of 1876 became a teacher. Preparatory to beginning his work as a teacher he had attended a private school conducted by Professor Morrison of Radical City. In his home district, Harrisonville, he taught a term, then attended the Normal Institute at Independence, and in the fall of 1877 took up his work in the Peebler District. The following spring he returned to the Harrisonville District and taught a term of three months, and then for three years was principal of schools at Elk City. After that he was again in the Harrisonville District, afterwards was principal for a year at Elk City, and then entered the mercantile business at Elk City. In 1898 he moved to Joplin, Missouri, where he was connected with merchandising and also as a prospector and miner for about two years. In 1901, after coming back to Elk City, he secured leases for about 17,000 acres of land in behalf of the Elk City Gas and Oil Company....

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Biographical Sketch of Shaler W. Eldridge

Shaler W. Eldridge, one of the leading free-state men of Lawrence and therefore of the Territory of Kansas, was a native of Massachusetts, born at West Springfield, August 29, 1816. The twelve years previous to coming to Kansas, he spent as a leading railroad contractor of New England. Arriving in Kansas City, Missouri, January 3, 1855, he purchased the American House from Samuel C. Pomeroy, who had previously obtained it from the Emigrant Aid Society. It is needless to say that it was headquarters for the free-state men, and that it harbored Governor Reeder in his escape from Kansas. In the early part of 1856 Colonel Eldridge leased the Free-State Hotel at Lawrence, which was burned by the pro-slavery people under Sheriff Jones. He attended the convention at Philadelphia which nominated Fremont, and was also a member of the Buffalo convention of July 9, 1856. It was doubtless his influence which mainly induced Secretary Stanton to issue the proclamation calling the first Free State Legislature to submit the Loccompton constitution to the people. In 1857 he and his brothers erected the Eldridge House at Lawrence, which was destroyed a second time by Quantrill, August 21, 1863. He enlisted in a company of the Second Kansas Regiment, was made Lieutenant and in 1863 appointed...

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas S. Huffaker

Thomas S. Huffaker, a pioneer Indian missionary among the Shawnees, a founder of Council Grove and an old-time republican leader, was born in Clay County, Missouri, March 30, 1825, a son of Rev. George Huffaker, who had come from Kentucky five years before. In 1849 he came to Kansas in connection with the manual training school for the Shawnee Indians at the mission in what is now Jefferson County, The following year he went to Council Grove, where he took charge of the Indian mission school which had been established on the Kaw reservation there by the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He remained at the head of this school until it was abandoned in 1854. On May 6, 1852, Mr. Huffaker married Miss Eliza A. Baker, who was born in Illinois in 1836. About the time the Indian mission school was abandoned, Mr. and Mrs. Huffaker organized a school for white children, which was probably the first institution of the kind in Kansas. Mr. Huffaker was one of the incorporators of the Council Grove Town Company; was the first postmaster at that point; was elected to the State Legislature in 1874 and 1879; was a regent of the State Normal School from 1864 to 1871; was frequently a delegate to republican conventions, and as late as May, 1906, was a member of the state convention of that party. Mr....

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