Location: Dickinson County KS

Biography of Joseph Ralph Burton, Hon.

Among the men who have come out of the Hoosier State to aid Kansas in its. real growth and development, there had been no finer man nor better citizen than Hom. Joseph Ralph Burton. Youthful in years as he was in experience when he came to Kansas in 1878, he plunged at once into the heart of affairs and gained ready recognition from the people. Senator Burton had at that time the ability to impress others with his reliability; he gained public confidence; he possessed the power of making people know that his talents were not merely skin deep but that they were solid, substantial and lasting. Nearly forty years have passed since he cast his fortunes with the workers who have constrncted the mighty commonwealth of the Sunflower and his reliability need not now be mentioned, it is so well known; the public confidence which he gained in his youth had been strengthened and solidified as the years have passed; his hold upon the people is strong and sure because of what he had done in their behalf. His record speaks for itself. Joseph Ralph Burton was born on his father’s farm near Mitchell, Lawrence County, Indiana, November 16, 1852, his parents being Allen C. and Elizabeth (Holmes) Burton. The Burton family, which is of English origin, was founded in America about the year 1750. John P. Burton,...

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Biography of David Edward Lamb

David Edward Lamb is a member of the Pettit & Lamb Mercantile Company at Herington in Dickinson County. This company operates the largest department store in that county, and the firm of Pettit & Lamb had been in existence for over twenty years. Mr. Lamb’s individual experiences and achievements since he came to manhood have made him a leading citizen of Kansas, and he represents a very honored family in this state. He was born November 27, 1866, at the Village of Independence, near Dayton, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, William Lamb, was a native of Pennsylvania. His parents were William W. and Belle (Henderson) Lamb. His father was born on a farm in Center County, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1840, followed farming and the foundry business in Pennsylvania until 1878, and in that year brought his family out to Kansas. He located on land in Marion County, six miles north of Peabody. To that land he gave his attention as a farmer for ten years, and then engaged in the coal business at Peabody, but since 1912 had lived retired and now had his home at Lyndon. He had been a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church practically all his life. William W. Lamb performed the part of a faithful soldier in the Civil war. He was a private in Company F of the Ninth Pennsylvania Reserve, and took...

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Biographical Sketch of Joseph A. Muir

One of the farms that gives a character of progressiveness to Saline County is owned and occupied by Joseph A. Muir, one of the younger representatives of the agricultural industry in this state. This farm is near Mentor in Walnut Township. It is a farm that Mr. Muir had known all his life and he was born there. He had 200 acres of land, and well adapted for the raising of alfalfa, which is one of his principal crops. In every point it is modern in equipment and facilities. He had substantial buildings, including barns and silos for the care of his crops, and is working the land in such a way as to secure the highest possible yield consistent with its continued fertility and productiveness. On that farm Mr. Muir was born July 5, 1889, a son of William and Mary (Crowther) Muir. Both parents were born in Scotland. His father was a pioneer Kansan, and took up the homestead in Walnut Township where his son Joseph new resided. William Muir died by accidental drowning in the Smoky Hill River in 1899. Joseph was one of five children, two sons and three daughters, named: Nettie, now wife of Henry Muir; John, a farmer in Saline County; Mary, wife of Victor Green, a farmer now living at Salina; Joseph A.; and Nellie, who is unmarried and resided with her...

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Biography of Samuel H. Waddle

Samuel H. Waddle is now the oldest original settler in his locality of Saline County. He went there more than fifty years ago. He knew Central Kansas when it was an almost unlimited stretch of prairie. The buffalo and the Indians were still here and the frontier civilization was a straggling line of homestead shacks and habitations, putting up a bold front against the domain of the wilderness. He suffered those privations due to searcity of crops, isolation from large towns and settlements, and he experienced the prairie fires, the long continued drought, the grasshoppers and every other plague and hardship so frequently recounted in these pages. Mr. Waddle was a young man, only a short time previously having been released from the army, when he came to Kansas. He had grown to a hearty old age in this state, and his exertions have made him financially independent. He is one of the leading farmers and stock raisers in the vicinity of Solomon. Mr. Waddle was born November 22, 1844, in a log house on a farm in Des Moines County, Iowa. His parents were William and Sarah (Braden) Waddle. William Waddle was born in Fayette County, Ohio, in 1809 and died at Topeka, Kansas, October 4, 1889. He came to Kansas in 1866, at the same time as his son Samuel, and acquired a tract of government land...

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Biography of Oscar Ramsey Searl, M. D.

Oscar Ramsey Searl, M. D. The name Searl had been associated with the medical profession in Northern Kansas for fully half a century. Dr. O. R. Searl is a son of a pioneer doctor of Solomon, Kansas, Dr. O. F. Searl. The son had practiced for nearly twenty years at Belvue, and besides his success in the profession he had made himself an influential factor in local affairs. He was born at Solomon, Kansas, July 5, 1872. Dr. O. F. Searl was of English family and represented Colonial settlers in Massachusetts. He was born in Massachasetts November 15, 1841, grew up there, and in 1861 enlisted in the medical department of the regular United States Army. He served throughout the war and was promoted to eaptain. He finished his studies in medicine at Harvard College, from which he had the degree Doctor of Medicine, and in 1867 he established a practice at Solomon, Kansas, where he was the first permanent physician. He looked after a large following of patients in that community for over thirty years. He is a man of adventurons spirit and when nearly sixty years of age, in 1900, he went to Alaska, being a passenger on the first boat that went to Nome. He spent twelye years in Alaska practicing his profession and since his return to Kansas in 1912 had lived retired at Solomon....

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Biography of Thomas M. Jones

Thomas M. Jones. From 1903 to 1917 Thomas M. Jones was assistant postmaster of Abilene, and in that time really handled the important responsibilities and executive details of the city postal system. He received his appointment under the late Richard Waring, and steadily continued in the office under subsequent administrations. Mr. Jones is an expert accountant, and that ability gave his service a great value in the postoffice, and during his long residence at Abilene he had been given many important commissions in auditing and in straightening up the books of commercial concerns. He is now cashier of the United Telephone Company, one of the leading light, power and telephone concerns of the Middle West. Mr. Jones had lived in Abilene since early manhood. He was born in a log house on a farm in Macoupin County, Illinois, June 20, 1861, a son of George F. and Elizabeth E. (Snider) Jones. George F. Jones was long well known in Abilene, where he died May 19, 1917. He was born in Indiana October 6, 1835, in 1855 removed to Illinois, and was a farmer in that state until 1886, when he came to Abilene, Kansas, and identified himself with the hardware and agrieultural business. For twenty-eight years he sold goods all over Dickinson County, and finally retired with a competence in 1914. He was also prominent in civic affairs, was...

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Biography of Charles H. Browne

Charles H. Browne is proprietor and editor of the Horton Headlight-Commercial, now the only journal published in that enterprising and flourishing city of Brown County. Mr. Browne had been largely identified with newspaper work since he left school, and is a vigorous type of citizen and easily a leader in any community. For a number of years he had been connected with the National Guard of Kansas and had been especially active in recent events in which the country had been involved in tronble, first with Mexico and later with Germany. The Horton Headlight-Commercial is a consolidation of half a dozen different Horton newspapers. As reported in the “History of Kansas Newspapers,” issued by the Kansas State Historical Society, the Headlight-Commercial is a continuation of the Horton Headlight, founded in 1886 by Harley W. Brundige and Samuel Baer_ In 1901 it was consolidated with the Leader, which had been founded in 1899 by Johnson & Law. The name was changed to Horton Headlight-Leader, Johnson & Law editors and publishera. But the name was soon changed to Headlight, and this newspaper Mr. Browne purchased in 1906. In 1911 it consolidated with the Commercial under the name Headlight-Commercial, with Mr. Browne as editor and published. The Horton Commercial was founded in 1887 by John S. Sherdeman. At different times in its history the Headlight had had daily issucs. Mr. Charles H....

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Biography of George Rushton

George Rushton. The George Rushton Baking Company, Incorporated, at Rosedale, is the largest concern of its kind in the State of Kansas. Every day its ovens turn out 20,000 loaves of high class bread, sold and consumed principally in the two Kansas cities, while the weekly capacity of the pie plant is 75,000 pies. It is the only pie baking plant on a large scale in the two cities. Baking had been a trade in the Rushton family for so many generations back that no record had been kept of the originator of the business. The president and founder of this business is a master baker in all that phrass implies. His father was a baker before him, and when only eight years of age began learning the business in his father’s shop back in England. George Rushton, Sr., was born at Wolverhampton, England, May 18, 1861, the oldest of the thirteen children of George Frederick and Martha Ann Rushton. As member of such a large household and the responsibilities of life being early put upon his shoulders, George Rushton had no opportunities to attend school. He never had a teacher except himself and experience. He learned his A B C’s by hard work, and only by much application and diligence did he acquire the fundamentals of a literary knowledge sufficient for business purposes. At the age of eight...

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Biography of John Calene

John Calene. The mercantile interests of Sylvan Grove, Kansas, are well represented by stable and intelligent business men, and one of these is John Calene, who is president of the Calene mercantile Company and is identified with other enterprises of importance. Mr. Calene was born in Sweden, near the great City of Stockholm, July 17, 1856. His parents were L. E. and Christine Calene, both of whom were born in Sweden, the father in 1822 and the mother in 1825, and both died in Dickinson County, Kansas, the former in 1880 and the latter in 1907. L. E. Calene grew to manhood in his native land and was married there. In 1866 he came to the United States with his family and for several years was a farmer in Henry County, Illinois. In 1870 he came to Dickinson County, Kansas, one of the early settlers in that section, and secured a homestead right to eighty acres of land and lived there until his death. In the meanwhile he had acquired other tracts and he left an estate of 240 acres when he died. He was a fine man in every way and was respected and esteemed by his neighbors in Dickinson County. Before he left Sweden he served as a soldier in the regular army, as the law provided, but was a quiet, peaceable man and a faithful member...

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Biography of Frank Geoffroy

Frank Geoffroy, who is a successful commission and grain merchant at Abilene, is a native of Kansas, and he and his people have been identified with this state since early pioneer days. Kansas was a territory and was known throughout the country as”bleeding Kansas” when his father and grandparents came and located as pioneers in Franklin County in 1855. His father, Ernest Geoffroy, was born near Metz, France, September 7, 1841, and was brought to America in 1849. The grandparents lived on a farm in Iowa for a few years, but in 1855 came out to Kansas and began their pioneer work in Franklin County. They were among the very first settlers there and the people of that district, as elsewhere, were divided in partisanship over the slavery question. At the age of sixteen Ernest Geoffroy left home and engaged as a driver of an ox team for a government contractor hauling supplies across the plains of Western Kansas to the United States military post in Colorado. That was in the years before the Civil war. The western country was then filled with hostile Indians, and there were also many other dangers and hazards of a life on the prairie. When the Civil war came on Ernest Geoffroy tendered his services to the Union cause, but was rejected on account of his age. For more than half a century...

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Biography of Jacob E. Brewer

Jacob E. Brewer. The author of the two cent railroad fare law in Kansas is Jacob E. Brewer of Abilene. Mr. Brewer proposed, introduced and successfully advocated that law during his membership in the State Senate from 1905 to 1909, representing the district of Clay and Dickinson counties. Mr. Brewer is an old and well known merchant of Abilene. He had the chief department store there and is also a wholesale commission merchant. It is said that 200 carloads of eggs are gathered and shipped to market through his plant every year. Permanence and solidity is a part of Mr. Brewer’s personal and business character. His big store at Abilene occupies the same site where he first began selling goods thirty-five years ago. Besides his store Mr. Brewer is a director of the Abilene National Bank, is a prominent Knight Templar Mason and Shriner, also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, and had long taken an active part in republican politics in his section of the state. While in the State Senate he was chairman of the insurance committee, a member of the oil and gas committee, of the fees and salaries committee, and an active worker in behalf of all the advanced and progressive legislation proposed during his term. For a number of years he served as chairman of the Dickinson County Republican Central Committee and had...

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Biography of Hiland Southworth

Hiland Southworth. Abilene was far out on the western frontier when a young lawyer named Hiland Southworth joined himself to the community in 1878. In the growth and development of the city and surrounding connty Mr. Southworth afterward had a most infinential and active part. His own success and prosperity rose with the community and he made his business, that of investment banking, a tried and sure resource and a bulwark of financial integrity. The judgment and abilities required for the handling of investments both large and small Mr. Southworth possessed to a rare degree approximating genius. Mr. Southworth was of New England ancestry. He was born at Clarendon in Rutland County, Vermont, September 26, 1849, the fourth son of Seymour and Rachel (Sherman) Southworth. His parents were natives of the same town and state, They had ten children, four daughters and six sons. Mr. Southworth grew up on a Vermont farm. His people were thrifty New Englanders, though in moderate circumstances, and they encouraged him to acquire a liberal education. In September, 1871, he entered Middlebury College at Middlebury, Vermont, and was graduated with the honors of his class in 1875. For a year he read law at Rutland, Vermont, and for another year he taught school and read law at the same time at Rosendale, Wisconsin. Coming to Kansas in 1876, Mr. Southworth continued his law reading...

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Biography of David Franklin Shirk

David Franklin Shirk, a prominent Kansas educator and a worker in behalf of child welfare, had been a resident of this state thirty years. Born at Shannon, Carroll County, Illinois, July 10, 1859, he was reared and educated in his native state, and as a young man began teaching school in Illinois. In 1886 he came to Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas, and followed educational work in this state actively for twenty-four years. In 1906 Mr. Shirk was graduated from Friends University at Wichita. Much distinction attaches to his work as a school man. He assisted in organizing the first county high school in Kansas at Chapman, Dickinson County. He also organized the first high school Y. M. C. A. in the world. He was elected and served for four years as superintendent of public instruction of Dickinson County. For five years he was superintendent of the schools at Cottonwood Falls in Chase County, was superintendent at Newton, Kansas, six years, and for two years at Great Bend in Barton County. In 1906 and again in 1910 he made student tours of Europe, and on the second trip took his wife and his two children as a part of their education. Since 1910 Topeka had been his home, and, at the death of the distinguished Dr. O. S. Morrow, he was appointed his successor as superintendent of the Kansas State...

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Biography of Henry Van Deman Faris

Henry Van Deman Faris, of Kanopolis, is a Kansas around whom center many associations of territorial and pioneer times. He is by five years the oldest living pioneer in Kansas west of Salina. He had been continuously identfied with Ellsworth County more than half a century. Mr. Faris comes of that adventuresome pioneer stock that in successive waves had peopled and developed American soil. His grandfather, John Faris, was born in Ireland of Scotch descent. On coming to this country he partieipated as a soldier in the struggle for independence, and afterwards became a farmer in Virginia. He located on what was then the far western frontier, along the Ohio River in Ohio County, Virginia, now West Virginia, not far from the small settlement then but now the City of Wheeling. He died there many years before Henry V. Faris was born. He married a Miss Stuart, also of Scotch family. Robert Faris, father of Henry V., was born in Ohio County in what is now West Virginia in 1801. He grew up and married in his native county, took up farming, and in 1828 left the comparatively well settled region around Wheeling and journeyed into the woods of Delaware County, Ohio, where he developed a farm. Then, in 1863, he again took up the journey and made the last stage toward the West, locating on a farm in...

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Biography of William A. Hopkins

William A. Hopkins, now living retired at Solomon, had turned the seventy-fifth milepost on life’s journey. His years have accounted for something not only to himself but to his country and his community. He was a gallant and loyal soldier of the Union during more than three years of the Civil war. After his part in that struggle he came to Kansas and had been a resident of Dickinson County for practically half a century. The Solomon community esteems him not only as one of its oldest but one of its most highly respected citizens. An Indiana man by birth, he was born in a log house situated on a farm in Daviess County September 12, 1842. His parents were Zelek and Maria (Logan) Hopkins. Zelek Hopkins was born in Kentucky in 1807, a son of Washington E. Hopkins. This is the same branch of the Hopkins fainily which includes among its noted members Commodore Hopkins of the English navy. Zelek Hopkins went with his parents from Kentucky to Indiana when ten years of age and grew up on a pioneer farm in Daviess County. His active career was spent as a farmer and during the Civil war he served as provost marshal of Daviess County. His death occurred at Washington, Indiana, March 20, 1867. In 1829 he married Miss Maria Logan, who was born in 1807, a danghter...

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