Location: Concordia Kansas

Biography of William C. Christensen

William C. Christensen, now living retired at Topeka, had well earned a niche in the honorable and industrious citizenship of Kansas. He was one of the real upbuilders of western Kansas, and his family played a specially notable part in the development of Cloud County. A native of Denmark, he was born November 7, 1857. At the age of eight years he was brought to this country by his parents Stephen and Anna Christensen. They settled in Freeborn County, Minnesota, where they lived on the frontier and where the mother died. The father married again and in 1870 brought his family to Kansas, locating in Cloud County. The home was twelve miles west of the present site of Concordia. Cloud County was then practically on the frontier. There was a Swedish settlement near Lake Sibley. The Christensen quarter section had as its nearest white neighbor a family living four miles to the east. Four miles west was a temporary camp of a band of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. The permanent camp of those Indians was about twenty miles away on White Rock Creek. The first home of the Christensen family in Kansas was a typieal sod house. It was built into the side of a hill. The Christensens had no trouble with the Indians, though the red men had committed some depredations, including the stealing of a white woman,...

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Biography of Vernon H. Branch

Vernon H. Branch of Wichita has had a successful career as a banker in Kansas covering a period of more than thirty-five years. In that time he has been officially identified with a number of important banks in different parts of the state, but is now concentrating all his efforts along the line of investment banking, and is one of the reliable investment bankers of Kansas. He came to Kansas when a youth. His birth occurred at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 3, 1863, but when he was two years of age his parents removed to Orwell, Vermont, his father’s childhood home. In that part of New England he spent his early childhood and youth until he was eighteen, and acquired a substantial common school training. In December, 1881, Mr. Branch arrived at Concordia, Kansas, and became bookkeeper for the Cloud County Bank. Two years later he became its cashier, but resigned in 1886 to become secretary of the Security Investment Company at Cawker City in Mitchell County. From there moving to Beloit in the spring of 1900, he was a hardware merchant of Beloit a year, and then became a stockholder, director and cashier of the First National Bank of Beloit. Since the summer of 1903 Mr. Branch has been a resident of Wichita. Acquiring stock in the National Bank of Wichita, he was made its vice president and a...

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Biography of Ralph M. McKee

Ralph M. McKee is superintendent of the consolidated city schools at Neal in Greenwood County. He is one of the younger men engaged in educational work in Kansas, and had a highly creditable record for the work he had already done and stands high both among his fellow teachers and in his home community. Mr. McKee was born at Xenia, Ohio, December 1, 1893. His McKee ancestors were early settlers in America. Mr. McKee had strains of English and Irish ancestry, and inherits good qualities through both lines. His father, W. T. McKee, was born in Ohio in 1861, and first came to Kansas in 1880. For several years he was engaged in the cattle business about Grenola, and he was married at Concordia that state, where he farmed for several years. Later he returned to Xenia, Ohio, where he resumed farming, and in 1908 came back to Kansas, and had since been a farmer at Elk Falls. He is a democrat in politics. He married Anna E. Liggett, who was born in Ohio in 1862. Of their children, Austin, the oldest, died at Elk Falls, Kansas, at the age of twenty-four, having finished his education in Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. The second in age is Ralph M. and the youngest child is Julia, a graduate of the Howard High School and teaches at Howard, Kansas. Ralph M....

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Biography of William C. Roughton

William C. Roughton, editor and proprietor of the Manchester Motor in Dickinson County, with his wife as local editor, had been identified either with the printing trade or with newspaper work since early boyhood. His father was at one time proprietor of the Jetmore Republican. The Roughton family is one of the earliest names that occur in the history of Hodgeman County. At Jetmore in that county William C. Roughton was born September 21, 1882. He is a son of Columbus E. and Amanda (Wilson) Roughton. Columbus E. Roughton, who was born in Yadkin County, North Carolina, in 1843, a son of Josiah L. Roughton, grew up on a North Carolina farm and being in active sympathy with the Union and the North he refugeed out of that country at the outbreak of the war. For a time he was employed as a horse buyer by the United States army and later was employed as assistant wagon master in the quartermaster’s department until the close of the war. He then located at Mattoon, Illinois, and farmed in that recently cyclone devastated country until 1868. In that year he made his first visit to Kansas for the purpose of viewing out a new home. However, he did not permanently locate in the state for ten years, in the meantime resuming his work as an Illinois farmer. In 1878 Columbus E....

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Biography of Walter E. Wilson

Walter E. Wilson, banker and business man at Washington, is the present bank commissioner of Kansas. His appointment had brought additional credit upon Governor Capper’s administration as one of those that reflect thorough business administration of state affairs. A native of Kansas and of a pioneer family, Mr. Wilson was born at Manhattan August 21, 1871. He is of an old Virginia family, the Wilsons having come from England and first settled at Jamestown in Colonial times and afterwards moving to the western portion of the state in what is now West Virginia. Their affiliations were all with the North during the struggle over slavery. The maiden name of Mr. Wilson’s grandmother was Nancy Lee, and she was a kinswoman of the great Lees of Virginia. Charles L. Wilson, father of Walter E., was born at Charleston, West Virginia, in 1840 and accompanied his parents to Kansas in the spring of 1856. The Wilsons were pioneers in the vicinity of Manhattan and there Charles L. Wilson grew up and married. He was for some years engaged in the harness business at Manhattan, but in 1878 homesteaded 160 acres near Miltonvale and lived on his farm until 1894, when he removed to Topeka and retired. His death occurred in Topeka in 1900. He was an old line republican and for many years held the office of trustee of Star Township....

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