Location: Ellsworth Kansas

Biographical Sketch of Owen A. Bassett

Owen A. Bassett was one of the ablest and most energetie actors in the Border troubles, the Civil war and the civil affairs of the Roconstruction period. A Pennsylvasian by birth, his father moved to Illinois in 1837 and two years later to Iowa. The family home was first in Lee County. The son’s original intention was to be a civil engineer, but he finally decided in favor of the law, although the stirring and compelling affairs which entered his life prevented him for many years from utilizing the legal training which he acquired. In 1855 he was employed in the United States land office at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, but in the spring of 1856 resigned to engage in business at Lecompton. Soon afterward he entered heartily into the free-state cause, joined the military company known as the Lawrence Stubbs, and was engaged both in the battle of Franklin and the capture of Fort Saunders. Subsequently he held the positions of engineer and quartermaster with the free-state army of Kansas, and in December, 1856, moved to Leavenworth. There he engaged as engineer for the Quindaro Town Company, and in 1857 and 1858 served in the Territorial Legislature. In the latter year he moved to Franklin County, published the Kansas Freeman a few months, returned to Lawrence and was admitted to the bar. At the outbreak of the Civil...

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Biography of Calvin Perry Bascom

Calvin Perry Bascom, general manager for the business conducted under the name of the Fayette R. Plumb Company, Incorporated, of St. Louis, was born in Ellsworth, Kansas, October 17, 1876. His father, Daniel Craig Bascom, a native of the state of New York, removed to Kansas in 1868 and there engaged in ranching for a number of years, contributing to the early development and progress of that district. He afterward returned to the Empire state, taking up his abode in Rochester, and has now passed away. In early manhood he wedded Agnes Johnson, a native of Vermont, their marriage, however, being celebrated in Ellsworth, Kansas, in 1873. Mrs. Bascom is still living and now makes her home in Rochester, New York. Their family numbers two sons and two daughters. The second eldest of the family is Calvin Perry Bascom, who was educated in the public and high schools of Rochester and also attended the Rochester University and the New York Trade School. He then started with his father in the heating and plumbing business in which he continued for four years, but desirous of improving his education and still further to qualify for the practical and responsible duties of business life he went to Boston where he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was there graduated in 1904 with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He next accepted...

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Biographical Sketch of Samuel E. Bartlett

Samuel E. Bartlett, lawyer, of Ellsworth, Kansas, was born on a farm near Wellington in Sumner County, Kansas, January 18, 1882, a son of Samuel Coan Bartlett and Mary Catherine (Wheeler) Bartlett. He is a graduate of the Sumner County High School in 1901, and a graduate of the University of Kansas in 1905, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts and in 1908 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Mr. Bartlett was admitted to the bar in 1908 and began the practice of law at Ellsworth. He was appointed city attorney of Ellsworth in 1909, which position he had since held. He was elected county attorney of Ellsworth county in 1910 and was twice re-elected. He is engaged exclusively in the practice of law. In 1911 Mr. Bartlett married Miss Frances Brewster, danghter of Samuel W. and Hattie (Mills) Brewster, the former an attorney at Chanute, Kansas. Both Mrs. Bartlett and her father are also gradustes of the University of Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett have two children, Samuel Brewster, born July 8, 1913, and Mary Frances, born July 2, 1914. Mr. Bartlett is a member of the Green Chapter of the legal fraternity of Phi Delta Phi; a Master Mason and past master of his lodge at Ellsworth; and an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Ellsworth. Samuel C. Bartlett, the father of the Kansas...

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Biography of James A. Paull

James A. Paull, present county treasurer of Ellsworth County, had long been identified with business, industrial and civic affairs in this section of Kansas. Mr. Paull had a very interesting ancestry. The family originated in Alsace Lorraine, immigrated to England, and from that county Richard Paull established the name in America. Richard Paull was born in 1615 and at the age of twenty, in June, 1635, embarked on the “True Love de London” for the Bermudas. He soon settled in Massachusetts and on November 7, 1638, married Margery Turner, of Cohasset, now Taunton, Massachusetts. There are several public records concerning this Massachusetts colonist. He was subject to military duty in 1643, was member of a jury on inquest in 1650 and again in 1653, and was surveyor of highways in 1652. His death occurred before March, 1654, when about thirty-nine years of age. James A. Paull’s grandfather was Richard Paull, a native of New York State and of the sixth generation from the original Paulls settling in Ameriea. He died in Kane County, Illinois, before his grandson was born. He married Clarinda Gooding. She had an ancestor, William Gooding, who served in the Revolutionary war, She was descended from Governor Edward and Susanna Winslow, who came over in the Mayflower and their marriage, celebrated May 12, 1621, was the first marriage ceremony in New England. Clinton E. Paull, of...

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Biography of Bert L. Gardanier

Bert L. Gardanier is a well known Kansas banker, being vice president and now acting president of the Central National Bank of Ellsworth. This is one of the best managed banks in Kansas and had long occupied a position on the honor roll of Kansas national banks. It was established as the Farmers and Merchants Bank in 1884, first opening for business in a small room in Ellsworth November 3, 1884, with a capital stock of $7,000. The first depositor was D. A. Burns and the deposits at the close of the first day’s business were less than $1,000. At the end of the following year deposits had increased to a little more than $25,000, and the capital was then raised to $50,000 and a national charter taken out. This charter bears the date of February 1, 1886, and at that time the name was changed to the Central National Bank. In the meantime the bank had entered its new two story brick building just opposite the site of the present handsome bank structure. A rapid growth and development then set in at Ellsworth, the quarters proved too small, and in 1887 the institution was moved into what was then known as the Insurance Building. This served the purposes until the spring of 1902, when the bank bought the building located on its present site and formerly occupied by...

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Biography of Maynard L. Meek

Maynard L. Meek is the present mayor of Ellsworth, Kansas. Local citizens take a great deal of pride in referring to the efficiency and accomplishments of his administration, and express a great deal of satisfaction that Mr. Meek had consented to serve four consecutive terms. Mr. Meek is first and last a thorough business man, and that accounts for his success in public life. Mayor Meek was born in Jones County, Iowa, September 8, 1869. He comes of an old American family, pioneers in Virginia and later in Ohio. His father, Eli C. Meek, was born in Meigs County, Ohio, in 1846. He grew, up and married there, took up the vocation of farming, and in 1869 located on a farm in Jones County, Iowa, where his son was born. In 1878 he removed from Iowa to Lincoln County, Kansas, homesteading 160 acres six miles south of Sylvan Grove. He soon had 480 acres under his ownership there, but sold out and removed to Ellsworth County in 1887. For ten years he followed the business of grain buying at Wilson, and in 1897 retired and moved to Ellsworth, and since 1915 had lived at Kansas City, Missouri. He is a republican and is affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Eli Meek made a ereditable record as a soldier of the Union army. He enlisted in 1861 at the...

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Biography of William Bender

William Bender came with his parents to Kansas over thirty years ago, helped the family get established, and then took up agriculture as an independent career, in which he had been so liberally prospered that he had now practically given up the active superintendence of his extensive land holdings and lives retired in the City of Ellsworth. Mr. Bender is a native of Germany, where he was born August 19, 1869. His father, also William Bender, was born in that country in 1846, grew up and married there, acquired the trade of shoemaker, but also did farming. He was in two of the German wars, that against Austria in 1866 and later in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. In 1881 he brought his family to the United States, first locating at Terre Haute, Indiana, where he was employed in the railroad shops. In 1883 he came to Black Wolf, Kansas. The Benders were then people in rather humble circumstances, and the father gained a livelihood by working as a farm hand. In March, 1884, he took the opportunity to secure a relinquishment on eighty acres in Lincoln Township of Ellsworth County, and he improved that land and made it his home until 1905, when he retired into the City of Ellsworth and died there in 1907. He found the opportunities of his life in Kansas and in about twenty...

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Biography of James M. Wilson

James M. Wilson has had a long and prominent official career in Ellsworth County, where for twenty years he had continuously filled the office of clerk of the District Court. Mr. Wilson is an old resident of Ellsworth, having come there as a youth thirty-five years ago. He is a lawyer by training and qualifications, though he had found his career in public office rather than in private practice. Mr. Wilson was born at Bath-on-the-Hudson, now Renssalaer, New York, September 12, 1864. His father, James Wilson, was born at Edinburgh, Seotland, in 1824, grew up and learned the trade of baker there, and about 1849, on coming to the United States, settled at French ‘s village in New York State, and later moved to Rath, where he continued to follow his trade until his death in 1880. He was a Union soldier, having enlisted August 29, 1864, in the Ninety-first New York Infantry. While with his regiment crossing the James River during one of the campaigns toward the end of the war he received a sunstroke. This brought on epilepsy and he suffered intermittent attacks of that malady all the rest of his days and his death was the direct result of an attack. He was mustered out of the army June 10, 1865. In politics he was a republican and one of the chief interests of his life...

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Biography of Harry A. Kunkle

Harry A. Kunkle. Kansas as one of the greatest agricultural sections of the world had bestowed its riches abundantly upon the disciples of farming, but it will be found an almost invariable rule that those who have benefited most from the prosperity of Kansas have relied upon those old virtues of industry and unceasing vigilance which have their rewards in other less favored communities. Hard work was no doubt the keynote in the success of the late Aaron Kunkle, who developed a splendid estate as a farmer in Kansas, and his only heir, Harry A. Kunkle, had not been bebind his father in similar enterprise and is today one of the largest land owners and most successful business mien of Ellsworth. The Kunkle family had been identified with Pennsylvania since colonial times. The grandfather of Harry A. Kunkle spent his life in Silver Spring Township of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, as a farmer, and died there in 1874. He married a Miss Adams, also a native of Pennsylvania, and she died in Silver Spring Township in 1897. They had a family of children mentioned briefly as follows: Aaron; Levi, a carpenter by trade who died at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1915; Daniel, a retired farmer at Mechanicsburg; Elizabeth, who died in her native township in 1872; Mary, wife of Henry Witmer, a retired farmer at Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Sophia, now living with...

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Biography of Nathaniel Harris

Nathaniel Harris, a veteran business man of Ellsworth now retired, had been identified with that city for over thirty years and among other honors that have come to him was a service in a recent session of the State Legislature. Mr. Harris is of an old American family, the Harrises having been pioneers in Tennessee and Illinois. His father, Benjamin Harris, was born in Tennessee in 1817, and in 1826 removed to Illinois, where he married and took up a career as a farmer and stockman. At the outbreak of the war with Mexico he went with an Illinois regiment as a lieutenant and at the battle of Buena Vista was wounded in the forehead by a musket ball. He did not long survive that military experience and died in Morgan County, Illinois, in 1851. He was a whig in politics. Benjamin Harris married Mary Davis. She was born in Morgan County, Illinois, in 1821 and died there in 1844. Her father, Briscoe Davis, was born in Kentucky in 1760, a date which of itself indicates that this branch of the Davis family went into the dark and bloody ground of Kentucky about the time of Daniel Boone. The Davises were Scotch-Irish people. Briscoe Davis was reared and married in Kentucky and in 1826 settled as a pioneer in Morgan County, Illinois, where he bought a quarter section of...

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Biography of George W. Vaughn

George W. Vaughn. Constructive enterprise in America had had its most notable triumphs in railroad building. In that field American ingenuity, indomitable energy and resourcefulness, have been displayed at their best. The history of railway building on this continent had many splendid names, and some of the greatest of them belong to Kansas. Not least among them was the late George W. Vaughn, or Major Vaughn, as he was more generally known, who died at Leavenworth February 3, 1916. He had a national reputation in engineering circles, and was a man, who, from the common walks of life, attained wide fame. He was born in Genesee County, New York, in the Town of Perry on November 24, 1829. It will not be inappropriate to recall the fact that at the time of his birth there was hardly a mile of railroad construction in the United States. His life spanned the entire period of railroad progress not only in America but practically in the world, since even in England Stephenson and his associates were only making experiments with locomotion by means of railroads. He was reared on a farm. His educational opportunities were confined to the public schools. This lack of schooling was more than equalized by an intellect of a superior order. He was particularly gifted in mechanics, not merely with the skilled operation in handling of tools, but...

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Biography of Edwin Ruthven Heath

Edwin Ruthven Heath, a prominent physician and specialist of Kansas City, Kansas, had a record among Kansas citizens that is unique. As a boy he knew the terrors, excitements and thrilling incidents of life in California following the discovery of gold in ’49. As a traveler both in North and South America he had contributed a part of the world’s knowledge of geography, peoples and science. He spent twelve years in South America, practiced medicine in remote construction camps and among wild and semi-barbarous tribes, and he helped build some of the pioneer railways of that continent. To as great a degree as it could be said of any one, Dr. Heath had lived the strenuous life. He had been a resident of Kansas since 1881, and here had given his chief attention to the practice of medicine. Dr. Heath was born at Janesville, Wisconsin, July 13, 1839. He is the only survivor of three children whose parents were James and Madelia McLean (Boyce) Heath. Both parents came from Vermont, and his father, James, was the youngest of nineteen children. Dr. Heath’s brother, Ivon D., was a successful farmer, was a friend of Dr. Root, surgeon of the Kansas Seventh Regiment in the Union Army, and Ivon was made hospital steward under Colonel Cloud and served in that capacity through the war. In 1848, during the historic gold rush...

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Biography of Rev. Dr. Michael M. Stolz

Rev. Dr. Michael M. Stolz. It would be impossible to do justice in a brief sketch to the life of this devoted follower of Christ and pioneer Methodist leader of Kansas. Doctor Stolz entered the ministry while the great Civil war was being fought. He served faithfully in Indiana and elsewhere, and for nearly forty years had been identified with the Kansas Conference. He is now retired from the active ministry, a resident of Salina, but though past eighty-one years of age still finds congenial employment as librarian of the Kansas Wesleyan University. He was born April 30, 1836, at New Berry, Pennsylvania, a son of William and Jane M. (Smith) Stolz. Both parents were natives of Pennsylvania and had nine children, six sons and three daughters: Michael M.; Alexander, deceased; William H.; David S., now a resident of Ellsworth, Kansas; Daniel S., living in Los Angeles, California; Joseph, of Los Angeles; Elizabeth M., of White Plains, New York, widow of Clinton Fish; Rebecca Jane, wife of George Leonard of Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and Caroline, deceased. The common schools of Pennsylvania furnished Doctor Stolz his early education until he was eighteen years of age. He then entered the Dickson Seminary at Williamsport, where he spent two years. Coming west to Indiana in 1859, he entered the old Asbury University, now DePauw University, at Greencastle, Indiana. He was a student in...

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Biography of William H. Holt

William H. Holt came to Kansas a number of years ago as a railway employee, but soon took up banking and had had a wide experience in that field, partly in Kansas and partly in Northwestern Texas, and is now cashier of the Central National Bank of Ellsworth. This is one of the largest and most substantial banks in Southern Kansas. Mr. Holt was born at Grafton, West Virginia, August 2, 1879. His ancestors came originally out of England and were colonial settlers in Virginia. His father, James W. Holt, was born at Kingwood in Preston County, West Virginia, in 1850, and had spent his entire life in West Virginia, being now a resident of Grafton and a retired publisher. In politics he is a republican and for several years served as postmaster of Grafton, as mayor two terms, and as a member of the Lutheran Church and the Masonic fraternity. He married Anna Jordan, who was born at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1852 and died at Grafton in 1897. They reared a family of very capable children, their names and situations in life being noted as follows: John A., a banker at Gage, Oklahoma; Alfred, a druggist at Grafton, West Virginia; William H.; Howard H., who succeeds his father as publisher of the Grafton Daily Sentinel and still had active charge of the journal; Mrs. Lillian Rightmire, living at...

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