Location: Crawford County KS

Biography of Henry R. Ransom

The Pittsburg Sash & Door Company. One of the very considerable industries of the City of Pittsburg is The Pittsburg Sash & Door Company, which like many successful concerns had a very modest heginning but is now contributing a great deal of wealth to the city and is furnishing support to many families whose members find employment there. This business was originally started as a bay press by L. N. Mosteller, now a retired business man of Pittsburg. In October, 1902, Henry R. Ransom arrived in Pittsburg and bought what was then known as the Pittsburg Planing Mill, situated at Fourth and Grand Avenue. Since then the business has been under the direction of the Ransom family, and during the past year its business has been so voluminous that its payroll amounts to $15,000. It has prospered and expanded continuously during the fifteen years since Henry R. Ransom took charge of the industry. The Ransoms were a colonial English family that settled first in Virginia. Later they lived in New York State. S. S. Ransom was born at Perrysburg, New York, and is still living now retired at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was reared and married in Perrysburg, New York, and was for many years a traveling salesman. S. S. Ransom married Jennie Strickland, who was born in Ellinsville, Warren County, Pennsylvania. Henry R. Ransom, head of The Pittsburg Sash...

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Biography of Charles S. Denison

Charles S. Denison. The ordinary, every-day man, engrossed in the business avocation which brings his daily bread, is representative of the nation’s citizenship. This is the normal type, and his life begins and ends, perhaps, with nothing more distinctive than is the ripple on the face of the stream when the pebble is thrown into the water. It is the unusual type that commands attention and it is his influence exerted on his community, and the record of his life, that is valuable and interesting as a matter of biography. In the professions, and especially in the law, the opportunities for usefulness and personal advancement depend almost entirely upon this unusually gifted individual, and here natural endowment is as essential as is thorough preparation. The bar of Crawford County is a representative body of Kansas and as such has its full quota of brilliant men, included among whom may be mentioned Charles S. Denison, why by inheritance, education, predilection and thorough training, is fitted to take his place among the leading members of his calling. Charles S. Denison, who has been practicing at the bar of Pittsburg since 1909, was born at the Osage Mission, Saint Paul, Kansas, August 28, 1878, and is of Scotch and German descent, the Denisons having come from Scotland to Pennsylvania prior to the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, David Denison, was born in the...

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Biography of Samuel Brownlee Fisher

Samuel Brownlee Fisher of Parsons, consulting engineer of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company, is one of the eminent railway engineers of America. He had had nearly fifty years of active experience and had been identified with the construction of various railway lines in the West and East. He comes of an old Scotch family of Covenanter stock. On the maternal side his ancestors were the Brownlees, who were Covenanters in Scotland and were exiled because of their religious belief and settled in Pennsylvania. Mr. Fisher’s great-great-grandfather in the maternal line, George Wilie, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and another member of this same family was Colonel Thompson, an aide to General Washington. Mr. Fisher’s maternal grandfather, Samuel Brownlee, was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1792, and spent all his life on a farm in that rugged district of Southwestern Pennsylvania, dying in 1855. He was an active abolitionist in the days before the Civil war and was a member of the Associate Branch of the Presbyterian Church. Samuel Brownlee married Ann Wilie, who was born and died at Washington, Pennsylvania. The father of Mr. Fisher was Rev. Jacob P. Fisher, who was born in Ohio in 1808, but was reared and married in Washington, Pennsylvania. He was a minister of that branch of Presbyterianism formerly known as the Associate Church. He was also actively identified...

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Biography of E. O. Sloan, M. D.

E. O. Sloan, M. D. The attainment of success in life along any path of endeavor demands energy, honesty, conscientiousness, self-reliance and proper preparation. The presence of genius is also desirable, but for permanency the homely virtues and practical qualities are absolutely necessary. To the undoubted possession of these may be, in large part, attributed the success that had attended the efforts of Dr. E. O. Sloan, who had figured prominently in the medical profession of Crawford County for more than a quarter of a century, as a practitioner at Pittsburg and had maintained throughout his entire career a high standard of professional ethics and scientific principles. Dr. E. O. Sloan was born in Polk County, Missouri, February 25, 1855, and is a son of Dr. Absalom C. and Mary Jane (Hamilton) Sloan. He belongs to a family of Scotch-Irish origin which emigrated to America from Scotland and Ireland at an early day and located in Kentucky as pioneers during colonial times. In that state was born the grandfather of Doctor Sloan, Jeremiah Nelson Sloan, August 26, 1789. A farmer and stock raiser by vocation, in 1831 he moved to Polk County, Missouri, where he was elected the first county judge. He came to be a man of importance, substance and general worth in his community, and wielded a large influence for good among his fellow-citizens, who, recognizing his...

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Biography of George A. Gemmell, Prof.

Prof. George A. Gemmell. It is doubtful if there is any other profession which demands so much judgment, tact, specialized knowledge, patient and natural executive ability as that of the educator, and the individual selecting it as his calling must be prepared to make many personal sacrifices, to endure many disappointments, to often spend himself for others without apparent gratitude in return, and to give the best years of his life without the material emoluments that equal effort would surely bring in any other profession. It is a profession for which there is no established table of weights and measures, but it is one which affords the man who would serve the race an opportunity than which there are none greater. Of the educators of Kansas who are engaged in a good and helpful work, one who had not allowed himself to be tied down by old methods or ancient dogmas is Prof. George A. Gemmell, principal of the Crawford County High School, at Cherokee. Mr. Gemmell had made teaching his life work, and in going beyond prescribed limits had shown himself one who is an educator in the best sense and whose practical instruction will be of lasting benefit to those who come under his charge. George A. Gemmell was born July 29, 1882, in Crawford County, Kansas, and is a son of A. J. C. and Cora...

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Biography of William Lanyon

William Lanyon. More than any other the name Lanyon is distinctive of the zinc industry in Southeastern Kansas, particularly at Pittsburg. The Lanyon family had been prominent in this particular industry for several generations. To a large degree the importance of Pittsburg as a zinc manufacturing center is due to the enterprise of the Lanyons who came to this part of Kansas more than thirty years ago from their original home in Southern Wisconsin, where they had operated extensive mining and manufacturing industries. Though he was one of the earliest of the family to take an active part in the zinc industry in Southeastern Kansas, Mr. William Lanyon gave up many of his interests in that field some years ago, and is now best known as a banker and leading citizen. He is vice president of the National Bank of Pittsburg and is now serving as mayor of the city. He was born at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, December 26, 1862. His father William Lanyon was a native of England, where he was born in 1830. Six years after his birth his parents came to the United States and finally settled in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. He grew up there, married, and was first engaged in the grain business. Coming to Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1882, he was a pioneer in the development of the coal fields and the operation of the...

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Biography of Samuel Bowman

Samuel Bowman, now of Coffeyville, where he is engaged in the real estate, insurance and loan business with his sons, is a Kansas resident of nearly thirty-five years and was long prominent in Labette County, where he served two terms as probate judge. His Bowman ancestors were German people who came to Pennsylvania in Colonial times. His grandfather, Benjamin Bowman, a native of Pennsylvania, was a farmer and cabinet maker, also a minister of the Dunkard Church, and spent many years in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he died some years before Judge Bowman was born. It was in the valley of the Shenandoah, a mile from Harrisonburg, Virginia, that Samuel Bowman was born May 18, 1846. His father, John Bowman, was born in the same locality in 1790, and spent his life in that famous valley, engaged in farming and stock raising. He died at Harrisonburg in 1873. Though a resident of Virginia he was not in sympathy with the South on the issue of slavery, was a stanch Union man, and a whig and republican in politics. He was an active member of the Dunkard Church. John Bowman married Rebecca Wine, who was born in the Shenandoah Valley in 1802, and died on the old farm near Harrisonburg in 1872. A brief record of the children is as follows: Daniel, who was a Virginia farmer and...

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Biography of Harry Degen

Harry Degen, deceased, was for more than a decade actively identified with mercantile interests in Bartlesville as the proprietor of a department store which is still being conducted by his widow and which is one of the best establishments of the kind in the city. He was born in Austria on the 11th of November, 1875, and when a lad of twelve years accompanied his parents on their emigration to the United States. He worked for his relatives in Kansas until twenty-seven years of age, when in association with his uncle he established the firm of Degen & Company for the conduct of a clothing store in Pittsburg, Kansas. The year 1910 witnessed his arrival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where he established the Degen dry goods store on the corner of Third and Dewey streets, conducting the enterprise successfully to the time of his demise on April 16, 1921. His honorable business dealings and earnest desire to please his patrons won him the confidence and support of the public to such a degree that he enjoyed a large and profitable trade. Since his death the establishment has been conducted by his widow, who has placed a manager in charge thereof. Twenty-five people are employed in the store, which carries a stock valued at about fifty thousand dollars. Mr. Degen erected a modern business block 6n Third street, between Osage and...

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Biography of Claude B. Clements

Claude B. Clements. Among the men who have won success in the Mid-Continent oil fields, one whose prosperity and present position have been gained solely through hard, unremitting labor and specialized knowledge and ability in this vocation, is Claude B. Clements, of Peru, Kansas. A man of large personal interests, which demand steadfast and undeviating attention, he had managed to reserve a part of his time for public official duties, and at this time is mayor of Peru, an office in which he had gained a reputation that assures him of the confidence and respect of his fellow townsmen. Mr. Clements was born in Union County, Kentucky, January 27, 1871, being a son of B. J. and Alice (Williams) Clements, and a member of a family which originated in England and whose first American member came to this country during the colonial era and located in Virginia. B. J. Clements was born in 1848, in Union County, Kentucky, and resided there until 1879, when he became a pioneer farmer of Crawford County, Kansas, but in 1884 removed to Chautauqua County, where he engaged in farming until the close of his life. His death occurred at Niotaze, Kansas, November 17, 1885. Mr. Clements was content to devote himself to his agricultural interests, and never sought public position. He was an unassuming man, but energetic and resourceful in his work and...

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Biography of William Taylor Williams

William Taylor Williams. More than a half century had passed since William T. Williams, one of Sedan’s foremost citizens, had his first glimpse of Kansas, of which state, for almost that long, he had been a continuous resident. The marvelous changes which have been wrought in the country through the civilizing industries of men of enterprise, are reflected in some degree, in the advancement of his own fortunes, but none of these developments have come without strenuous effort, persistent energy and never failing courage. This may well be given emphasis in view of the fact that charges have been made that in these luxury-loving days, too many American youth appear but too well satisfied with the advantages that have been provided by the manly endurance of an older generation. With leisure and love of case, they invite weakness instead of seeking strength that comes through courageous bearing of hardships and the stimulation of overcoming obstacles. William Taylor Williams, vice president of the First National Bank, Sedan, Kansas, was born in Hart County, Kentucky, May 22, 1848. His parents were Ansel and Mary (Gooch) Williams. His grandfather, David Williams, was born in Wythe County, Virginia, in 1801, and died in Grayson County, Kentucky, in 1850. His father was born in Wales and was the founder of the family in America. The grandmother was Jane Jackson, who was born in South...

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Biography of Seth J. Bailey

Seth J. Bailey. The gratifying success which had crowned the efforts of Seth J. Bailey, of Chanute, clearly and emphatically evidence the business skill, perseverance and enterprise of this individual, who had been engaged in business here since the fall of 1900. This is a utilitarian age, one in which advancement and progress come through activity in the industrial and commercial interests of life. There is nothing to which America owes her pre-eminence among the nations of the earth so much as to her inventions, and each year sees additions to the list which bear marked impress upon the world of trade. It is not as an inventor, but as a manufacturer of inventions that Mr. Bailey is known. He had the foresight to see the possibilities of a certain appliance and the courage to back his judgment, and the result had been the building up of one of Chanute’s prominent and substantial business concerns, the Sunshine Mantle Company, manufacturers of incandescent gas mantles. Mr. Bailey is a native son of Kansas, born in the City of Topeka, May 2, 1868, his parents being Dr. M. and Lanra A. (Jarboe) Bailey. The family is of English origin, and was founded in Pennsylvania prior to the War of the Revolution. William Bailey, the grandfather of Seth J. Bailey, was born in either Pennsylvania or Ohio; at least it is known...

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Biography of Robert Scott Mahan, M. D.

Robert Scott Mahan, M. D. While a high medical authority had declared that man’s organs, under natural strain only, ought to last 300 years, the fact is patent that only in rare cases do they function one-third of that time, and that threescore and ten, according to the Psalmist, covers the life history of the majority in any community who reach what is termed “old age.” To combat by medical knowledge and surgical skill the diseases that attack and the accidents that lay low mankind that shorten his life and ruin his happiness, the physician and surgeon is called. There can be no profession more deserving of honor than that which alleviates human pain and brings healing, and no matter how great may be the monetary rewards in some cases, it is largely a humanitarian career, that had been often illuminated by acts of heroic self-sacrifice in the cause of science. The great opportunity does not come in the practice of every practitioner, but if a history were published of the unselfish self-imposed acts performed by the humblest physician in his charity and pity, his place in medical annals would be no insignificant one. A physician and surgeon who had but recently established himself at Elgin, is Dr. Robert S. Mahan, coming here from Cherokee County with years of professional success behind him. Doctor Mahan was born at Paola,...

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Biography of Miss Isa Allene Greene

Miss Isa Allene Greene grew up in Bourbon County, Kansas, and in that section taught her first school. Through her work she had become one of Kansas’ noted educators. She had proved herself a real teacher. She possesses the ability, rare as it is in any time or generation and rare even in these modern times when so much emphasis is placed upon it, of vitalizing and inspiring the intellectual activities of those under her charge, and all her work had been characterized by a depth of sympathy and understanding which is more necessary in any rational scheme of education than mere ability to impart knowledge. Miss Greene had taught for many years in Kansas and was recently promoted to the great responsibility of superintendent of the School for the Blind, Kansas City, Kansas. Miss Greene was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, at the Town of Smithfield December 29, 1866. She was next to the youngest in a family of ten children. Her parents, Harvey and Nancy (Jaco) Greene, were both natives of Pennsylvania. Her maternal grandfather was of English descent, while her paternal ancestors were Welsh and German. The grandparents came to America about 1800. James H. Greene was a cooper by trade, and also a local minister of the Methodist Church. He and his wife were married and lived continuously in one house in Pennsylvania until all...

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Biography of P. F. Theis, M. D.

P. F. Theis, M. D. Among the younger members of the Kansas medical profession there are many who have, through inherent ability, conscientious devotion to their calling and an earnest love for their work, gained within a short space of time positions held formerly only by men many years their seniors. Of late years the profession had made such rapid strides that the newly graduated physician in many cases is possessed of knowledge that the practitioners of several decades ago only gained after years of practice. Representing the younger generation in Crawford County is Dr. P. F. Theis, of Arma, who by inclination, natural talent and comprehensive training had won a substantial place for himself and is making rapid strides in one of the most difficult of the learned callings. Doctor Theis was born at Weir, Crawford County, Kansas, June 9, 1885, and is a son of Peter and Ella (Dowd) Theis. Peter Theis was born in Germany, and was three years of age when his parents came to the United States and took up their residence in Wisconsin. A few years later they went to the unsettled prairies of Cowley County, Kansas where buffalo still roamed in great bands, unafraid of the white men who were so soon to wipe them out in such great numbers, and where, at night, it was necessary to build large fires to...

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Biography of Fred N. Adam

Fred N. Adam. The popular and energetic postmaster of Longton, Kansas, Fred N. Adam, who was appointed to this office in April, 1916, had been a resident of Longton since 1911, and had been well known in mercantile circles as one of the proprietors of the establishment conducted under the style of Adam Brothers. Almost immediately upon his arrival here he became known as a live and energetic citizen, capable of handling official duties, and his appointment as postmaster was preceded by several terms of good work as a member of the local council. Mr. Adam is a native son of Kansas, having been born at Monmouth, Crawford County, August 18, 1884. He belongs to a family which came originally from Scotland and located in Virginia (now West Virginia) during colonial days, and is a son of L. C. and Thursa (Casterline) Adam. L. C. Adam was born in that part of Virginia which is now West Virginia, in 1852, and was twelve years of age when he accompanied his parents to Crawford County, Kansas, the family settling as pioneers at Monmouth. His education, commenced in the public schools of his native state, was completed in the new locality, and there he was reared to manhood and married. Mr. Adam commenced his independent career at Monmouth as a mercantile operator, but in 1888 removed to Cedar Vale, Chautauqua County,...

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