Location: Fort Scott Kansas

Biography of Edward Bell Payne, M. D.

Edward Bell Payne, M. D. With an understanding of what is awaiting the man of science, the many doors yet unopened which will lead to the further amelioration of the ills of mankind, and the constant yearning to add to his store of knowledge, it is practically impossible for the conscientious physician and surgeon to arrive at a state of mind where he is satisfied with what he has accomplished and, of necessity, he keeps on striving for perfection as long as life lasts. A long list of accomplishments in his profession have marked the career of Dr. Edward Bell Payne, one of Fort Scott’s leading medical men, who, still in the prime of life, may be looked to for further and greater achievements. Doctor Payne was born in Miami County, Kansas, on a farm near Paola, October 9, 1866, and is a son of Rev. James M. and Mary A. (Cantwell) Payne. The latter, who was born in 1843, was a daughter of Andrew Cantwell, a native of the South of Ireland, who emigrated to the United States at an early date and settled in Illinois, where he farmed until moving to Linn County, Kansas. There he followed agricultural pursuits during the remainder of his life. Rev. James M. Payne was born in 1843, on a farm in Indiana, and as a young man moved to Illinois and...

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Biography of Phares Root

Phares Root, one of the well known business men of Independence, has spent nearly all his life in Kansas, his parents having moved to Elk County and taken their share of hardships and responsibilities as pioneers. Mr. Root has developed a prosperous business in the handling of automobile supplies and in operating a first class garage. He was born in Indiana, September 26, 1869. His ancestors came from Germany in the early days and settled in Pennsylvania. His father, Joseph Root, was born in Ohio in 1844, but was reared and married in Starke County, Indiana. He is a tinner by trade, and in 1871 moved his family to Elk County, Kansas, and is still a resident and active business man of Elk Falls. Politically he is a republican. Joseph Root, though a young man at the time, made a creditable record as a soldier in the Union army. In 1861 he enlisted in the Indiana Infantry, and was in service until the close of the war. He married Amelia Nowlin, who was born in Indiana in 1839 and died at Elk Falls, Kansas, in 1911. They had two sons, and the older is William M., a painter living at Topeka. Phares Root acquired his early education in the schools of Elk County. Since the age of sixteen he has been dependent upon his own energies. For about three...

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Biography of William A. Cormany

William A. Cormany. During a period covering more than a half century William A. Cormany has been a resident of Fort Scott, and in this time has been closely identified with the agencies that have made for progress along material, educational and moral lines. Coming here a veteran of the Civil war, in 1866, he entered newspaper life as owner of the Fort Scott Monitor, and since then his activities have branched out in various avenues of business. He is one of the few remaining of the early settlers of the city, and looks upon its present prosperity with the eye of a proprietor. Mr. Cormany is a son of William and Margaret (Coldsmith) Cormany, the former of whom was born in Edinburg, Scotland, in 1810, and the latter in Pennsylvania, of Duteh descent, in 1813. William Cormany was brought to the United States in 1813, by his parents, the family settling in Pennsylvania, where he met and married Margaret Coldsmith, and in 1840 they started for Ohio in a covered wagon. When they were twelve miles from the little Town of Lithopolis, Fairfield County, Ohio, the wagon broke down, and before the journey could be resumed, the son, William A., was born, January 27, 1841. Several weeks later the little party again got under way and finally reached their destination, at Lancaster, Ohio, where the father worked at...

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Biography of William Stephen McDonald

William Stephen McDonald. The distinctive fact in Doctor McDonald’s record as a physician and surgeon at Fort Scott is not the twenty-five years he has practiced there, nor even the exceptional attainments and the skill he has gained in the profession, but more than all these the spirit of service which has animated him in all his work. Such a man never measures his success by fees, but by the satisfaction of doing all he can to alleviate human suffering and by the conscientious performance of his duties to the world and humanity. Doctor McDonald is of old New England stock. He was born at Prince Edward’s Island March 21, 1853, son of Archibald and Mary A. (Bowyer) McDonald. His father, who was of Scotch parentage, was a farmer and also a contractor and builder, and died in Eastern Maine at the age of sixty-eight. The mother, who was of French Huguenot ancestors, died at Portland, Maine. Fifth in a family of eight children, Doctor McDonald gained a liberal education. He first attended the Wesleyan Boarding School at Redfield, Maine, and then entered the Wesleyan University at Middletown, where he was graduated A. B. in 1882. He received the degree Master of Arts from his alma mater in 1885. After his graduation he took the chair of Natural Science in the East Maine Conference Seminary at Bucksport, and taught...

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Biography of James Frederick O’Connor

James Frederick O’Connor. The stern competition and exacting conditions of twentieth century business progression have resulted in specialization in every line of industrial and constructive activity. Men of marked ability have proved beyond question of doubt, through consecutive action and comprehensive investigation, that the best and most productive results are secured by a consistent devotion to some particular line of effort. The reason for this is that, with so many competitors it is practically impossible for a single individual to become an expert in all lines. When he entered upon his career, James Frederick O’Connor recognized the fact that the man who dissipates his energies in all directions attains no definite goal, and during his life he has, therefore, practically confined himself to one line of business. His start was given him when he secured the privilege of using an old icehouse, deserted by its former owner, his father. That was a quarter of a century ago. Today, the O’Connor-Hamlin Ice and Cold Storage Company is one of Fort Scott’s foremost industries, alike a credit to the city in which it is located and a monument to the consistent fidelity of one who realized the benefit of specialization, through which he has worked out a splendid success. James Frederick O’Connor was born at Fort Scott, Kansas, November 3, 1868, a son of John and Adelia (Karleskind) O’Connor. His mother...

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Biography of Ellsworth L. Burton

Ellsworth L. Burton. One of the very able members of the Kansas Legislature in the session of 1915-16 was Representative E. L. Burton from Parsons. Mr. Burton is an attorney by profession, has spent most of his life in Kansas, and has some very influential and important connections in his part of the state. He was born at Mattoon, Illinois, April 30, 1868. The Burtons came from England and settled in the Carolinas during colonial days. Mr. Burton is a direct descendant of Cavalier Burton. His grandfather Alfred Burton was born near Guilford Court House in North Carolina, and died in Jasper County, Illinois. George Burton, father of E. L. Burton, was born in Jasper County, Illinois, in 1841, and spent most of his early youth and manhood there. He enlisted from Illinois in the Seventy-ninth Illinois Infantry, and later was a member of the Ninety-seventh Regiment from that state. Altogether he served three years in the Union army, and among the various campaigns in which he participated was the siege of Mobile. After the war he returned to Illinois, continued farming for several years, but in 1870 moved out to Kansas and was one of the early homesteaders along the line of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad in Neosho County. He acquired 160 acres there, but subsequently sold that farm and moved to Montgomery County. He finally...

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Biography of Nelson F. Carr

It is more than six decades since Nelson F. Carr became a resident of Oklahoma and he is known to the people of Bartlesville and Washington county as the “Pioneer of Big Caney.” A native of New York, he was born in Wilton, Saratoga county, September 2, 1844, a son of William Henry and Sarah M. (Clancy) Carr, the former also a native of the Empire state, while the mother’s birth occurred in Vermont. He has a very faint recollection of his father, who died in September, 1848, at the age of thirty-one years. In 1859 the widowed mother, with her son and two daughters, removed to the western frontier, settling in Fort Scott, Kansas. They traveled by rail as far as Pleasant Hill, Missouri, then the terminus of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and thence they journeyed by stage as far as the present Kansas City. Nelson F. Carr was but fifteen years of age at this time, his active business life covering the entire period of railroad development in the country west of Missouri, the first railroad being put into operation in the United States sixteen years prior to his birth, or in 1828. Mrs. Carr remained a widow for sixty years, dying in California at the age of eighty-nine years. Her two daughters were : Anna Bridgman, deceased; and Jennie Bent of Colorado, who has two sons...

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Biography of William Lester Kellogg

William Lester Kellogg. The superintendent of motive power of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, William L. Kellogg, had worked his way to his present position through his own initiative. At the outset of his career he had no favorable influences to assist him, and he had depended upon no happy circumstances to aid him in his promotion. The chances he had had have been the chances that have come to every man who had been placed in a position similar to his own; the reason that he had gone further than some of his fellow workmen is due to the fact that when these chances arose he had the foresight to recognize them and the ability to fill the positions which they offered. William Lester Kellogg is an Ohican, born at Alliance, February 3, 1869, a son of Franklin J. and Catherine M. (Mather) Kellogg. He is of Scotch descent and is a representative of a family which was founded in America prior to the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, William Kellogg, was born in 1787, in Pennsylvania, from which state he removed to Ohio, where he was a superintendent of mines. He retired in 1877 and moved to his home at Alliance, Ohio, where he died in 1881. Franklin J. Kellogg was born in 1832, in Pennsylvania, and was reared and educated in the Keystone State. He went...

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Biography of Rufus Joel Hill

Rufus Joel Hill. There are many points of historical interest pertinent to the personal career and ancestral record of this venerable pioneer citizen who is now living practically retired in his pleasant home at Independence, Montgomery County. On both the paternal and maternal sides he is a scion of fine old American colonial stock and individually he had precedence as being one of the pioneer members of the Kansas bar, as well as a broad-minded and public-spirited citizen who had played well his part in connection with the civic and material development and progress of the Sunflower State, within whose borders he had maintained his home for virtually half a century. Rufus Joel Hill was born in St. Lawrence County, New York, on the 16th of February, 1838, and is a son of William and Anna (Meader) Hill, the former of whom was born in Vermont, in the year 1784, and the latter of whom was born in Rhode Island, in 1792, both having been representatives of families that were founded in New England in the early colonial period of our national history. William Hill was reared and educated in the old Green Mountain State and during the course of a long and active career he was known not only as a business man of marked ability but also as a loyal and liberal citizen of exceptional intellectuality. As...

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Biography of Frederick H. Ireland

Frederick H. Ireland. For many years Fort Scott had been recognized as one of the leading commercial centers of Kansas, being splendidly fitted for such preeminence by its location in regard to transportation facilities. This supremacy, which is recognized even in the old eastern cities, had been brought about and maintained by the aggressive business men who have chosen this city as the field of their operations, many of which are far-reaching in their results. Among the men belonging to this class of citizens is Frederick H. Ireland, of the Ireland & Rollins Planing Mills Company, whose career is one typical of the city’s progressive spirit and advanced commercialism. Frederick H. Ireland was born in Clermont County, Ohio, not far from the City of Cincinnati, September 21, 1861, a son of Robert and Sophia (Morgan) Ireland. His father was born in Dublin, Ireland, where he learned the trade of coppersmith, and as a young man emigrated to the United States, where, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he met and married Sophia Morgan. He was of a roving disposition and traveled all over the West on horseback, following his trade and practicing medicine, and finally died at Cineinnatl, in 1864, of copper poisoning. Sophia Morgan was born in London, England, and was brought to the United States as a girl, the family coming to this country on a sailing vessel which took...

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Biography of Elisha H. Rollins

Elisha H. Rollins, partner of Mr. Ireland in the proprietorship of the Ireland & Rollins Planing Mills Company, and one of the progressive and energetic business men of Fort Scott, was born March 15, 1859, on Prince Edward Island, a son of John and Mary (Harker) Rollins, natives of that place, who passed their entire lives there in agricultural pursuits. The father died in 1909, at the age of seventy-five years, while the mother passed away many years before, being forty-seven years old at the time of her demise. The fourth in a family of nine children, Elisha H. Rollins received a public school education, and in his youth learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed at his native place until 1876. In that year he came to Kansas City, Missouri, where he followed his trade for three years, and then came to Fort Scott and continued at his trade as a journeyman until he joined Mr. Ireland in the planing mill business. Like his partner, Mr. Rollins is a man of foresight and good judgment, a thorough business man, and a citizen of high character and standing. He is a republican in politics, a Presbyterian in his religious faith, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Fraternal Union. On August 30, 1886, at Fort Scott, Mr. Rollins was married to Miss Jennie...

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Biography of Jacob Rumbaugh

Jacob Rumbaugh was for twenty-eight years one of the most widely known citizens of Fort Scott. He had come to that section of Kansas and established a home on lands just across the state line in Missouri in 1870. He endured all the trials and vicissitudes that beset the average farmer of his day. But he was not himself an average man. He had a resourcefulness, a faculty for hard work, that often made him prosper while others were blaming fate for hard times and misfortunes. He was optimistic. As long as he lived he was sustained by hope. It had been well said that when a man ceases to hope he is spiritually dead. Hope is only another word for faith. It was faith that took Jacob Rumbaugh through every trial of life. It was faith that sustained him during the 15 years he spent as an invalid prior to his death on December 1, 1910. As a citizen he was liberal minded, always ready to do his share or more than his share in any undertaking for the public benefit. He was a generous neighbor and friend, and in spite of the sufferings that burdened his later years he was never heard to complain. Apart from his experiences, his achievements, his useful life in the state and among his family and neighbors, he rendered on especially noteworthy...

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Biography of Charles F. Miller

Charles F. Miller. In making mention of some of the business firms of Fort Scott the name of C. F. Miller stands as a representative of an established business in the implement, vehicle and automobile line. Mr. Miller had virtually grown up with the business, which through the years had gradually expanded and grown and now occupies an important place among the city’s commercial institutions. Mr. Miller was born and reared in Fort Scott, his parents being among the early settlers, having come to Kansas in 1859. Mr. Miller comes of English, German and Scotch ancestry, and is also a descendant of the historic character of New England, Hannah Dustin. His father, the late Dr. Jonathan G. Miller, was a native of Morgantown, West Virginia, where he was born in 1826. He practiced medicine at Newcastle, Indiana, before coming to Kansas. Doctor Miller invested in land and built the Miller Block at Fort Scott in 1863. This block stands at the corner of Main and Wall streets. When twenty years of age Charles F. Miller became assistant bookkeeper for the Durkee & Stout Implement & Grain Company. Afterwards he became bookkeeper and assistant manager for H. L. Page in the same line. Starting at the bottom of the ladder he learned the business in every detail. He soon bought an interest in the concern which became known as the...

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Biography of Albert Irven Decker

Albert Irven Decker. In the demands which it makes upon its devotees, educational work is exceedingly exacting. The duty of the educator, ostensibly, is to instill a practical, working knowledge into each of his pupils, but his correlative, although less direct, function of instilling character and worthy precepts through his personal influence is equally important. The duty first named calls for an individual of knowledge and specialized training, while the second demands a conscientious and capable person whose life and mode of living provide a fit criterion and example for the minds of youth. When a man is found in whose character are combined these attributes, the early and formative years of future citizens may be safely placed in his care. Such a man is Albert Irven Decker, superintendent of the city schools of Fredonia, a position which he had held for six years, and an educator who had devoted his entire life to his calling. Albert I. Decker was born at Burnside, Hancock County, Illinois, September 4, 1876, and is a son of J. E. and Eda Ruth (Perkins) Decker. The family is of Holland Dutch origin and originally spelled the name “Dekker,” but upon locating in Pennsylvania, in Colonial times, changed the spelling to its present form. Elisha Decker, the grandfather of Professor Decker, was born in Pennsylvania, became a pioneer of Hancock County, Illinois, and engaged...

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Biography of George James Sharp

George James Sharp during the thirty odd years he had lived in Elk County had been a farmer, school teacher, county official, abstractor and lawyer, and his friends and associates say that whatever he undertakes he does with all the enthusiasm of his nature and to the limit of his ability. He is an exceedingly useful citizen, and his services have for several years been untilized by the City of Howard through the office of mayor. Mr. Sharp was born on a farm in Hendricks County, Indiana, December 26, 1862, a son of William P. and Anna T. (Higgins) Sharp. He had a very interesting ancestral record. The first Americans of the name were Scotch-Irish people who came from the north of Ireland to Virginia in colonial days. Mr. Sharp is descended from revolutionary ancestors on both sides. His great-great-grandfather, James Sharp, participated in the struggle for independence and became a celebrated scout both during that war and afterwards in the western wilderness. This revolutionary patriot was born in Virginia, but after the Revolutionary war he moved across the mountains and settled in Kentucky. In Bath County, Kentucky, is a town named Sharpsburg, where a number of the Sharp family settled in pioneer times. The village was named in honor of Moses Sharp, a relative of the branch of the family now being considered. Moses Sharp was in the...

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