Location: Franklin County OH

Biographical Sketch of Gen. James G. Blunt

Gen. James G. Blunt was a brave and able soldier, albeit never recognized as a brilliant man of civil affairs. He was born in Hancock County, Maine, in 1826, and until his fourteenth year lived on his father’s farm. Running away from home, he was a sailor for four years and then studied medicine. In February, 1849, he graduated from the Starling Medical College at Columbus, Ohio, and in the following January located at New Madison, Ohio, where he practiced his profession until late in 1856, when he removed to Kansas and settled in Anderson County. He quickly became an ardent free-state man and when the Civil war broke out in 1861 enlisted as a private in the Third Kansas Regiment, subsequently being promoted to lieutenant colonel. He served under General Lane at the Battle of Dry Wood and then commanded a force that penstrated far into the Indian country and broks up the band of the notorious Mathews, killing the leader. In April, 1862, he was commissioned a brigadier general and placed in command of the Department of Kansas. At once he began active operations in Missouri and Arkansas, distinguishing himself for bravery and military skill in the battles of Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, Boston Mountains, Fort Van Buren, Honey Springs and Newtonia. After the war he settled in Leavenworth and engaged in business, spending a large part...

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Biography of William J. Rickenbacher

The real estate business conducted under the name of William J. Rickenhacher had gone hand in band with the development of Topeka for a number of years, and undoubtedly had contributed as largely toward the advantageous disposal of property and the honorable and satisfactory placing of loans as any concern of the kind in the city. Mr. Rickenbacher is one of the city’s foremost realty men, and while his name necessarily is associated with one of the early families of Topeka, his sucess is self made, and in its scope and usefulness directs attention to qualities of perseverance, business integrity and ability and high regard for the welfare of the community. John U. Rickenbacher, the grandfather of William J. Rickenbacher, was born in Switzerland, in 1818, and came to the United States in 1846. Here he joined the United States army and went with the forces of General Scott to Vera Cruz, Mexico. He was first slightly wounded by a Mexican musket ball, which passed through the rim of his ear, and a few days later, at the storming of Pueblo, received a much more severe wound. When peace was declared he returned to Ohio with his regiment and was mustered out of the service with his honorable discharge. Several years thereafter, in 1849, he was married and he and his wife became the parents of four children: William;...

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Biographical Sketch of Allen William Sells

Up to a few years ago every American boy had one very definite association with the name Sells. This name represented to him, as at least a passing mood, all the glory and wonder of the world through the great circus and menagerie operated under the name Sells Brothers. The Sells Brothers organization was one of the greatest achievements of its kind the world had known. This name had had a long and intimate association with the City of Topeka because one of the original Sells Brothers, out of the world wide acquaintance with towns and localities, chose this city as his favorite home and place of residence, and the family had lived there ever since. Mr. Allen William Sells, who was born in Topeka in 1892, and now resided at 914 West Ninth Street in that city, is a grandson of the Allen Sells who with his three brothers, Peter, Lewis and Ephraim founded the great circus and menagerie. Allen Sells was a native of Columbus, Ohio. The Sells Brothers was a title to conjure delight into the heart of every boy of the country for nearly half a century. Not many years ago the organization became part of the great corporation known as the Ringling Brothers. When Allen Sells retired from the show business about forty years ago his brothers continued it. Having made at least a...

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Biography of William Allen Sells

William Allen Sells, son of Allen Sells, was probably the most noted bare-back rider of his time. He began practicing the art when a child, and subsequently performed in every city and remote hamlet of the United States and also before the royalty of Europe. After his return from his European tour he organized and conducted a show of his own for some years. He died in New York City in 1907. In 1890 William Allen Sells married Miss Effigene Marris of Columbus, Ohio. Their only son and child is Allen William Sells, who as a boy and young man was almost constantly with his father and acquired a thorough knowledge of the show business in every detail. The year of his father’s death he entered theatricals, starting in Topeka as an apprentice with the Shubert Enterprise on the legitimate stage. For the past four years his time and energies have been chiefly occupied in the operation of a fine farm, including a half section of land near Tecumseh. Mr. A. W. Sells is married and had one daughter, Mary...

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Biography of Martin S. Rochelle

A resident of Wichita for nearly forty years, the late Martin S. Rochelle here achieved distinctive success in connection with business affairs and was a citizen who commanded unequivocal esteem in the community. He was a native of the old Buckeye State and represented the same as a gallant soldier in the Civil war. Mr. Rochelle was born near Columbus, the capital city of Ohio, on the 25th of November, 1842, and at his home in the City of Wichita, Kansas, his death occurred February 25, 1908. He acquired his youthful education in the public schools of Columbus, and was a youth of eighteen years at the inception of the Civil war. He promptly tendered his aid in defense of the Union, by enlisting in Company C, Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served four years with this gallant command and its history virtually constitutes the record of his military career. He took part in twenty-six of the strenuous batties of the great conflict between the states of the North and the South, was with General Sherman in the ever memorable march from Atlanta to the sea, and for a considerable part of his service he held the office of commissary sergeant. After the close of the war Mr. Rochelle engaged in business at Gahanna, Franklin County, Ohio, where he held for some time the position of postmaster. He finally...

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Biography of Hon. Ransom Beers

Hon. Ransom Beers is one of the oldest pioneers of this section and a man of enterprise and energy, having wrought in all the arduous and trying occupations of the frontier life, being eminently successful in them all, as well as having done much here for the up building of the County, while his life of uprightness and integrity, with manifestation of sound principles, has commended him to the confidence and esteem of all who have the pleasure of knowing him. The birth of our subject occurred in Ohio, near Columbus, on March 27, 1831, and his parents were Conrad and Jemima (Zin) Beers. He was reared on a farm and received his education in the primitive log schoolhouse of that section. At the early age of ten, his mother died and he knew the sorrows of that sad event mingled with his boyhood days. Until the fall of 1852 he remained with his father, and then he removed to Henry County, Iowa, and the following spring set out across the plains in a train of twelve wagons to California. Four months later he was digging gold in Placerville, having completed the trip without special incident. Eleven years were spent in that section in mining and success crowned his efforts. Then, in the spring of 1864, he went by ship to Portland, and thence to Mormon basin, where he...

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Biography of Charles E. Schaff

Charles E. Schaff, receiver for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company, was born on a farm in Licking county, Ohio. February 4, 1856. He is a son of the late Isaac M. Schaff, who was also born in the Buckeye state and represented one of the old families there of Dutch descent. In early life the father engaged in agricultural pursuits and later turned his attention to railroading, becoming connected with the train service of various roads. He passed away in Carroll county, Missouri, in 1888, aged fifty-seven years, having become a resident of Missouri four years before. He married Angeline Cleaves, a native of Maine and a representative of one of the old New England families of English lineage. She is now living in Columbus, Ohio. By her marriage she became the mother of seven sons and six daughters, of whom eight are living. Charles E. Schaff, the eldest of the family, was educated in private schools of Virginia and at the age of fourteen started out to provide for his own support. He was first employed as water boy on the Pennsylvania Railroad and initiated his business career with a wage of fifty cents per day. Later he took up railroading and was advanced through various parts of the train service, acting as supervisor and in various executive positions. His first official position was that of...

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Biography of Capt. George Fry

CAPT. GEORGE FRY, an old and honored citizen of Shannon County, Missouri, is a native of the Buckeye State, born in Franklin County in 1817. His father, George Fry, was a native of Pennsylvania, who went to Ohio in 1812 or 1813, floating down the Ohio River to the Sciota in flatboats with his family and household effects. He then went up the Sciota where he afterwards located, and there passed the balance of his days, dying when seventy-seven years of age. He was in the Indian War, and was in the battle of Tippecanoe. When he first went to Ohio the Indians were still there; in fact that State had only been admitted into the Union about ten years, and was but sparsely settled. Capt. George Fry, who was one of seven children, spent his school days in Athens County, Ohio, whither his parents had moved, and there reached man-hood. He turned his attention to farming at first, but afterward was superintendent of the iron works at Vinton Station, Vinton County, for fifteen years. Following this he took up railroad contracting on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and afterward, in 1869, went to West Virginia, and was on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. He was also in Kentucky on a railroad south of Lexington, and all the time was building railroad bridges, etc. Later he came West with...

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Biography of William F. Evans

William F. Evans has been identified with Champaign County for over twenty years, and he and his capable wife now enjoy the comforts and pleasures of a fine country home a mile and a half west of Rantoul and have near them their children and grandchildren and can look back with pardonable pride over many years well spent. Mr. Evans was born in Franklin County, Ohio, in 1856, the third in a family of twelve children whose parents were Daniel and Isabel (Engle) Evans. His father and mother were also natives of Ohio. When he was nine years of age the family came to Illinois, locating a mile and a half west of Dewey. Here William F. Evans grew to manhood, attended the district schools and made himself proficient in those duties and responsibilities which are the portion of the industrious farmer. When he was twenty-seven years of age, on December 31, 1883, he married Miss Sarah Belle Rider. Mrs. Evans, the only child of Jason L. and Mary (Forshee) Rider, was born in Michigan, twenty miles west of Detroit, and her parents were also natives of the same state. She was well educated in the public schools of Michigan and at the age of twenty-three, her mother having died and her father being lonely after the home was broken up, removed to Kansas, where his daughter joined him....

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Biography of James B. Roberts

James B. Roberts, now living retired at Denton, was a pioneer in that section of Doniphan County, and his life, which had been prolonged to four score, had been one of well directed and houorable effort throughout. He is a veteran of the great was between the states, and Mrs. Roberts is couspicuous among Kansas women for the part she had taken officially and otherwise in the Woman’s Relief Corps. Mr. Roberts was born at Remsen in Oneida County, New York, November 7, 1837. His father, Rees Roberts, was born in Wales in 1805. When a young man he came to America, locating first near Utica and afterwards at Remsen in Oneida County. By trade he was a tinsmith and he followed that until 1849. In that year he removed to Columbus. Ohio. and was a farmer in that section until his death in 1872. In politics he became identified with the republican party at its organization in 1856 and steadily voted with it the rest of his life. In religious mattere he was a member of the Presbytexian Church. Rees Roberts married Esther James, who was born in New York City in 1807 and died near Columbus, Ohio, in 1875. They were the parents of eight children: Mary, Louisa, Sarah, all deceased; James B.; George W., a farmer at Deuton, Kansas; Daniel, a farmer near Clearwater in Sumner County, Kansas;...

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Biography of James A. Pinney

The enterprise of our American citizens has given the nation a position among the powers of the world that it has taken other countries many centuries to gain. The progressive spirit of the times is manifest throughout the length and breadth of the land, yet even to our own people the growth and development of the west seems almost incredible. Less than half a century ago Idaho, California, Montana, Oregon and other western states were wild and almost unpeopled regions, without the railroad or other transportation facilities, without the telegraph or the varied commercial and industrial industries of the east. The hostile Indians made it a hazardous under-taking to establish homes in the district, but some fearless and sturdy spirits pushed their way into the wild region, reclaimed it from desolation and Indian rule, and to-day beautiful towns and enterprising villages dot the landscape, and in no particular are the improvements or the com-forts or the advantages of the east lacking in this district. Among those who have made Boise one of the most attractive and progressive centers of population in the northwest is James Alonzo Pinney, who has left the impress of his individuality upon many of the business interests of the city and thereby become an essential factor in the history of its upbuilding. He is a native of Ohio, born in Franklin County, on the 29th...

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Biography of J. J. Plumer, M. D.

Dr. J. J. Plumer, the physician and surgeon of the De Lamar Mining Company, also engaged in general practice in De Lamar, is a native of Missouri, his birth having occurred in Edina, April 8, 1860. He traces his ancestry back to England, whence in the year 1832 members of the family who belonged to the sect of Puritans crossed the Atlantic to America. They braved the dangers so common to ocean voyages in those days in order to have liberty of conscience in the New World, and they and their descendants were connected with the early history of the colonies. They were mainly farming people, whose upright lives commended them to the confidence and respect of all. The Doctor’s father, William F. Plumer, was born in Marietta, Ohio, and married Miss Sarah F. Beswick, also a native of that place. In religious faith they are Presbyterians and by profession Mr. Plumer is a civil engineer. He now resides in Hillsboro, Iowa, at the age of sixty-seven years, and all of the family, including three sons and three daughters, are also yet living. The Doctor, the second in order of birth, spent his boyhood at his parental home, acquiring his literary education in Birmingham Academy, in Iowa. Determining to make the practice of medicine his life work he prepared for his chosen calling in the Starling Medical College, in...

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Biography of Lambert L. Strong

Lambert Leroy Strong, one of Lewiston’s representative and enterprising citizens, engaged in the undertaking and embalming business here for the past fifteen years, was born in Franklin county, Ohio, August 8, 1849. He is of Scotch descent and his ancestors were early settlers of New York. The paternal grandfather was a Methodist minister and became one of the pioneer settlers of Ohio. His son, Caleb Strong, the father of our subject, was born in Ohio, and married Miss Albinia Lambertson. When our subject was only five years of age they removed with their family to Cedar County, Iowa. The father served his country in the war with Mexico, and in 1862 started across the plains to California, but died at Fort Kearney, at the age of fifty years. His wife still survives him and is now sixty-eight years of age. They had four children, of whom three are living. The eldest of the family, Lambert L. Strong, spent his boyhood days under the parental roof, and as soon as old enough to handle the plow began work in the fields. He assisted in the cultivation of the fields through the summer months and in the winter season pursued his education in a little log schoolhouse. On attaining his majority he enlisted in the regular army, and served for three years, receiving an honorable discharge on the expiration of that...

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Biography of Peter Calvin Croco

Peter Calvin Croco. With the exception of several years spent in Missouri, Peter Calvin Croco had been a resident of Kansas since 1876, and as he had carried on operations in most every part of the state few men are better informed as to agricultural conditions here. At the present time he is the owner of a good property in Tecumseh Township, Shawnee County, which he is cultivating along modern lines, and on which he had up-to-date improvements that make the farm of 155 acres a model which many agriculturists might copy. Mr. Croco was born in Holmes County, Ohio, May 17, 1853, and belongs to a family which had a most interesting history. His great-grandfather, Peter Croco, was born about 1750, in Poland, and in his young manbood joined the Polish army, where he recalved a strict and thorough military training. Later, he joined the army of Frederick the Great, king of Prussia and after a few years of service onlisted in the English army, with which he came to America to fight against the Colonists. It was not long, however, before the principles for which the forces of Washington were fighting became known to him and he transferred his allegiance to the patriot army, with which he served bravely during the rest of the struggle. He joined the army of the American commander-in-chier just prior to the...

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Biographical Sketch of Frank M. Drew

Drew, Frank M.; mgr. Star Theater; born, New York City, June 30, 1852; son of Frank N. and Louisa M. Drew; educated, public schools, Philadelphia, Pa.; Military Academy at Village Green, Pa.; married, 1885, Blanche C. Collard, of Wyandotte, Mich.; issue, six children; actor for two years, following the profession in New York City; sixteen years in the circus business; conducted museums in Providence, Columbus, Cleveland and Indianapolis; in 1883, built the Cleveland Theater and became connected with Mr. Campbell in conducting playhouses in various places; leased Colonial theater in Cleveland and subject to Ray F. Comstock; member Elks and Masonic Bodies; fine summer home at Girard,...

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