Location: Florence Kansas

Biography of Capt. William E. Payton

Capt. William E. Payton, editor and owner of the Colony Free Press, had been a live factor in Kansas journalism for a number of years. He is also prominent in Kansas military circles, having seen service in actual warfare during the Philippine insurrection, and is now captain of Machine Gun Company of the Third Kansas Infantry. Captain Payton is a native of Kansas, having been born on a farm in Butler County December 15, 1879. His parents were Benjamin F. and Sarah C. Payton, both natives of Indiana. His father served as a soldier in the Civil war. The family came to Kansas in the early ’70s and his father died in 1915. They were the parents of nine children, eight sons and one daughter, William E. being the seventh in age. Captain Payton was educated in the public schools of Butler County and grew up on his father’s farm. Before he attained his majority he enlisted in Company A of the Thirty-second Regiment, United States Volunteer Infantry, and spent two years as a soldier in the Philippines. He made a good record in the army and his interest in military affairs had been unabated to the present time. In 1905 Mr. Payton bought the Burns Oitizen at Burns in Marion County, edited and published it three years, and selling out acquired the Bulletin at Florene, Kansas, having charge...

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Biography of John D. Burton

John D. Burton. Like many of his contemporaries in the field of journalism in Southeastern Kansas, John D. Burton, proprietor and editor of the Potwin Ledger, began his career at the case. His entire life had been devoted to newspaper work, as compositor, editor and owner of publications in various parts of the country, but principally in Kansas, where he had resided and labored since the fall of 1878. While his present publication was founded only recently, it had already gained a wide circulation and promises to become an organ of influence in public matters under Mr. Burton’s wise and experienced direction. John D. Burton was born at Springfield, Illinois, July 1, 1857, and is a son of David A. and Elizabeth (Tarr) Burton. He comes of a family which, originating in England, was founded in North Carolina by three brothers, William, Thomas and Allen Burton, the last named of whom, his great-grandfather, became a pioneer farmer of Indiana and died in the vicinity of Terre Haute. Allen H. Burton, son of the immigrant, and grandfather of John D. Burton, was born at Charlotte Court House, North Carolina, and was there reared, educated and married. Subsequently he went to Indiana, but later became a pioneer into Williamson County, Illinois, where he condueted a blacksmith shop until his death. He married Cynthia Boyle, a native of Ireland. David A. Burton, father of John D., was...

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Biography of James Dodwell

James Dodwell. The career of James Dodwell, pioneer harnessmaker of Butler County and a well known resident of the county seat, El Dorado, is one considerably apart from the ordinary and of unusual interest. In its unfolding it had invaded various fields of endeavor and the occupations of war and peace, and through it Mr. Dodwell had worked out an admirable destiny and had established his right to be numbered among the self-made men who have attained success in spite of the most discouraging circumstances. James Dodwell was born in the City of New York, in 1845, and, having been left an orphan when an infant, was reared in the home of the Children’s Aid Society. In the fall of 1856 he was sent to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and placed in the home of Mrs. Caroline Hawley, where his lot was that too often experienced by orphaned children. Few, if any, kindnesses came his way, hardly any advantages, and no education, for he was not allowed to attend school with the other children. In fact he only attended school for three months in his entire life. Mr. Dodwell almost welcomed the outbreak of the Civil war, when he was about sixteen years of age, for it renewed his aspirations and awakened new hopes and gave him a chance to break away from his sordid surroundings. Enlisting in the army was...

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Biography of Richmond T. Battey

Richmond T. Battey is a retired banker at Florence, Kansas, with which community he had been, identified as a businees man and leader in public affairs for forty years. Mr. Battey is one of the old timers of Kansas. His recollections of the state go back to the territorial period of the latter ’50s. His experiences as a whole and particularly those of his earlier years are mainly a reflection of those events and times which form the substance of Kansas history. He knew the western plains and the old trails by actual experience, and is perhaps as well informed on that phase of the great western history as any man now living. Mr. Battey was born at Providance, Rhode Island, September 16, 1849, and came to Kansas with his parents, Stephen and Rebecca (Cady) Battey. His father was an early day Kansan, concerning whom some record should be made in permanent form. He was a native of Rhode Island and died at Florence, Kansas. In early life he was a confectioner and baker, but subsequently entered the ministry of the Baptist Church and gave several years to that work. In 1858 he came to Kansas, and during the first year he leased land now occupied by the campus of Washburn. College at Topeka. After farming this land a year he went into the freighting and transportation business over...

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Biographical Sketch of Herbert Hickman

Herbert Hickman is editor and owner of The Florence Bulletin, and had proved himself a very diligent and enterprising young newspaper man, coming up from the ranks of an apprenticeship as a printer. He was born in Las Animas, Colorado, December 6, 1893, a son of George W. and Maggie H. (Brown) Hickman, both of whom died when he was a small boy. His father was a native of Missouri and his mother of West Virginia. Herbert had a twin brother, Harvey Cecil, who died at the age of five years, and the youngest child, Warren Milton, was born in 1895 and died in 1902. After the death of his parents Herbert Hickman lived with his maternal grandparents at Colony, Kansas. His mother’s father was Rufus M. Brown, one of the early settlers at Colony. He served in the Union army as a member of Company G, First Regiment, Ohio Heavy Artillery Volunteers, and was long active in Grand Army circles in Kansas, His death occurred in Colony in 1911. In the home of his grandparents Herbert Hickman had good advantages, attending the public schools and spending three years working in the printing office of the Frce Press at Colony. He also continued his apprenticeship one year in Ottawa, Kansas. On March 2, 1914, he came to Florence as foreman of The Bulletin, and on May 1, 1917, bought...

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Biography of John Sayre Downes

John Sayre Downes. The City of Topeka is the home of the largest organization of its kind in the United States, the Aetna Building and Loan Association, which maintains about 600 agencies in Kansas and Oklahoma. The growth and development of this institution during the quarter of a century in which it has been in existence is a commentary upon the success to be attained by enterprises in the Sunflower State when their policies are directed by men of substantial ability, strict integrity and business foresight. At the head of the Aetna Building and Loan Association today, in the office of president, is found John Sayre Downes, a business man of sterling capacity, who during the twenty years of his connection with the company has been appreciative of the value of fair treatment for policy holders and the results occruing therefrom. President Downes is a self-made man, whose own experience should serve as an encouraging example to those starting life in modest circumstances, as well as being illustrative of the desirable results attainable through thrift and wise investment. John Sayre Downes was born on a farm in Oneida County, New York, August 31, 1855, and has been a resident of Kansas since 1878. He is one of six children born to Thomas and Mary (Sparrow) Downes, natives of England, who were brought as small children from that country to...

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Biography of Oscar Maxel Yount

Oscar Maxel Yount. The person of this sketch, Oscar Maxel Yount, is perhaps the most wonderful example, everything being taken into consideration, of what a determined will-power can accomplish that the Sunflower State had ever produced. He had been a lawyer and engaged in the active practice of his profession since June 22, 1905. He is a native son of Kansas, and the work he had done in his profession and in civic affairs had brought him a place of special esteem throughout the state and especially in his home community of Galena. He was not born with a “silver spoon in his mouth,” but was handicapped from birth with an extreme case of near-sightedness of vision which is equally as bad, and probably worse, as that of the immortal Blackstone. Mr. Yount never had but little more than 3 per cent of far-sighted vision according to optometrical measurement, his case being one that puzzles the best eye-specialists in this country. He was born on a farm in Cowley County, Kansas, July 28, 1883, and represents one of the early pioneer families of that section. He was started to school at the age of six years under the most trying circumstances, the teacher neglecting to teach him because he was unable to discern the words on the blackboard in the front of the schoolroom and advising his parents to...

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Biography of Ed Green, Col.

Col. Ed Green. While Colonel Green’s home and interests have been centered in Kansas for a number of years, he is hardly less well known in the State of Illinois, where he was reared and where he spent many active years, and in fact throughout the country and even abroad the name of Col. Ed Green is one of the most prominent associated with the breeding of short-horn cattle and of fine trotting horses. His home is now at Howard, Kansas, and he owned several ranches in that section of the state. Colonel Green was born at Indianola, Illinois, October 8, 1865. His paternal ancestry goes back to Major Green, his great-grandfather, who served with that rank in the Revolutionary war. Major Green was a brother of the still more famous Gen. Nathaniel Green, one of the most distinguished leaders of the Revolutionary forces. Colonel Green’s grandfather was Ebenezer Green, who was born in Virginia, went as a pioneer farmer to Ohio and died in that state before Colonel Green was born. L. W. Green, father of Colonel Green, was born in Lake County, Ohio, in 1831. He grew up there, and in 1859 removed to Indianola, Illinois. There he became a successful farmer and stock raiser, and he, too, as well as other members of the family, gained more than local reputation as the breeder of fine horses...

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