Location: Coldwater Michigan

Biography of Gen. John H. Stevens

GEN. JOHN H. STEVENS. – This hero of a hundred Western adventures, and a pioneer of the great Inland Empire, was born on a town line in Windham County, Vermont. The son of Asa Stevens, a miller and farmer, he learned to use his hands and brain in practical affairs, and at the village school obtained a good working education. In his youth he followed business in Boston, and was engaged in lumbering in Pennsylvania. In 1832 he came west to Michigan, and at Coldwater, Branch County, kept a hotel, advancing his business also by taking mail contracts, and in such early ventures as the conditions of life in the Wolverine state afforded at that early day. He became a colonel in the state militia, and succeeded also to a generalship. Eight years he served as sheriff of Branch county, and during that time made many notable arrests. In 1852 he prepared for the journey to Oregon, rigging up a large team of mules and horses, and with his daughter Mary C., who subsequently became the wife of the famous lawyer of Eugene, Oregon, Stukeley Ellsworth, and with thirteen young men, among whom was Green Arnold, now of LaGrande, made the journey across the plains. Although in the midst of the pestilential cholera, he lost but one man. He made a speedy trip, covering the distance from the Missouri...

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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 C. J. Van Doren

C. J. Van Doren’s extended business experience had been almost entirely in connection with the cement industry. He knows the business in every detail, both on the technical and manufacturing side, and also selling end. Mr. Van Doren is now superintendent of the Great Western Portland Cement Company’s plant at Mildred, Kansas. A native of Michigan, he was born at Adrian July 22, 1874. His paternal ancestry goes back to Peter Van Doren who immigrated from Holland and settled on Long Island between 1637 and 1640. Mr. Van Doren’s grandfather, Jacob Van Doren, a native of New York State, was a pioneer in Southern Michigan, locating on a farm near Adrian in 1837. He spent the rest of his life there. His wife was Drusilla Burgess, who died at Adrian. Chester C. Van Doren, the only child of his parents, and father of C. J. Van Doren, was born at Adrian in 1844, and spent all his life in that section of the state, being a farmer and later a merchant. He was a democrat and a member of the Masonic fraternity. His death ocurred in 1908. He married Sarah Katherine Whittaker, who was born near Toledo, Ohio, in 1845. They were the parents of four children: Dora, wife of Ernest C. Smith, who besides looking after a real estate business at Adrian, Michigan, is one of the leading...

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Biography of Hon. William Frederick Sapp

Hon. William Frederick Sapp. It is said that the present democratic national committeeman from Kansas when he came to the state in 1879 arrived on foot. He was young then, and not above such strenuous exercise when the purpose involved was search of location for the beginning of his professional career. He soon afterward obtained admission to the bar before the District Court at Columbus, and as a lawyer and citizen has been identified with Galena almost as long as that town has been on the map. The courage and independence that brought him to Kansas and took him through the difficulties of the early lawyer have brought Mr. Sapp far along the road to prominence and success. He is undoubtedly one of the strongest figures in the democratic party of the state. In 1892 he was a delegate at large to the democratic national convention in Chicago, was democratic candidate in his district for Congress in 1894, and is now in his third successive term as national committeeman from Kansas. His first term ended in 1912, his second in 1916, and at the recent national convention he was again chosen to represent the Sunflower State and this term holds over until the next general campaign in 1920. In 1914 Mr. Sapp was democratic candidate for the United States Senate. He was born at Grand Rapids, Michigan, August 30,...

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