Location: Humboldt Kansas

Biography of John Monroe Farnsworth

John Monroe Farnsworth, of Humboldt, is one of the prominent oil well contractors and oil producers in this section of Kansas and had operated on a very extensive scale both for others and for himself. He grew up in the atmosphere of the oil industry in the East, and had been a resident of Kansas for the past fifteen years. He is of English ancestry and the family came out of England and were Colonial settlers in New York. His grandfather, John Farnsworth, was born in New York State, was a carpenter by trade, and early settled in what is now West Virginia. He died at Parkersburg in that state before John M. Famsworth was born. John M. Farnsworth was born in Wood County, West Virginia, near Parkersburg, January 4, 1876. His father, Daniel Farnsworth, was born in the same locality in 1844, grew up and married there, and had spent practically all his life in some phase of the oil industry. He is an oil well driller, and for many years had operated in the volcano fields of West Virginia. His home is now at Eaton Station, West Virginia, Daniel Farnsworth saw some active service during the Civil war, enlisting in 1863 in the West Virginia Cavalry and serving until the close of the struggle. He is a Democrat and a member of the Baptist Church. The maiden...

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Biography of George McKinley

George McKinley. In point of continuous service George McKinley is one of the veteran Santa Fe Railway men. He began railroading with a line that is now part of the Santa Fe system more than thirty years ago, and for over a quarter of a century had faithfully discharged the duties of station agent at Humboldt. He had also prospered in a business way, and is the owner of some valuable oil and gas productions near Humboldt. Mr. McKinley was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, December 8, 1861. His people were of Irish descent and were pioneers in Ohio. His grandfather, William McKinley, died in Fairfield County, Ohio. The father’s name was also William, and he was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1828, grew up and married there, and made farming his basie oceupation. He was an early settler at Humboldt, Kansas, locating there in 1880, and acquired some extensive real estate in the town. He died at Humboldt in 1904. Politicaily he was a republican, and was an active member and elder of the Presbyterian Church. William McKinley marriedĀ GraceĀ Mounts, who was born in Warreu County, Ohio, in 1843, and died at Humboldt, Kansas, in 1908. Their children were: Mary, who lives at Humboldt, widow of Monroe Ashbrook, who died at Humboldt, having been a farmer in Ohio and in Kansas; George, who is the second in age;...

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Biography of Earl A. Nossaman

Earl A. Nossaman, secretary of the Monarch Cement Company at Humboldt, had lived in Kansas since early infancy, educated himself for the teaching profession, which he followed for a number of years, and was in the drug business before he accepted his present official position with the Monarch Cement Company. He went with this company while it was being reorganised, and as manager of the sales department had had much to do with its successful operations in recent years. His ancestry goes back to Hesse Cassel, Germany, where his great-grandfather was born. Coming to America, this ancestor settled in Pennsylvania. Mr. Nossaman’s grandfather, Lewis Nossaman, served with credit as a Union soldier during the American Civil war. For many years he lived on a farm in Harrison County, Missouri, came from there to Kingman County, Kansas, where he was a pioneer homesteader, and he died at Wellington, Kansas. Earl Adrian Nossaman was born in Harrison County, Missouri, February 18, 1879. His father is Warren Pierce Nossaman, who was born in Iowa in 1853, but when a boy went with his parenta to Harrison County, Missouri, where he grew up and married. He became a farmer, and in the fall of 1879 came to Kansas, first locating in McPherson County and in 1883 taking up a homestead of 160 acres in Kingman County. He developed that as a good farm,...

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Biographical Sketch of Wesley Virgil Griffitts

Wesley Virgil Griffitts is proprietor of the leading general mercantile business at Lovewell. His business experience began early in life, and the resources at his command have been the energy of his own character and such capital as he had acquired by thrifty management and hard work. Mr. Griffitts was born in Gentry County, Missouri, near Albany, April 13, 1879, and still had the promise of the best years of his life ahead of him. He is of Welsh and English descent and his family were early settlers in Kentucky. His father, Aaron Griffitts, was born in Hancock County, Illinois, at Plymouth, in 1840. He grew up and married there and spent his active life as a farmer. In the spring of 1879 he removed to Gentry County, Missouri, and a few years later established a home in Allen County, Kansas. He died fourteen miles southeast of Humboldt in 1913. He was a democrat, and always a consistent Christian and after 1885 a strong supporter of the United Brethren Church. He married Marcella Jane Thompson, who was born at Hillton, West Virginia, in 1847, and is still living on the home farm in Allen County, Kansas. When she was thirteen years of age her parents moved to Illinois, making the entire journey by wagon or steamboat. Aaron Griffitts and wife had three children: A. P., a farmer at Rockyford,...

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Biography of Samuel Price, Rev.

Rev. Samuel Price was identified for many-years with Kansas, and his services and experlences make an important chapter in the life of the state. He was born in Ohio in 1827, his ancestors coming originally from Wales. He was reared and married near Barnesville, Ohio. For a number of years he was editor of the Barnesville Enterprise. In 1878 Rev. Mr. Price removed to Humboldt, Kansas, where he acted as a Methodist minister for three years. Afterwards he held various pastorates in other cities of Southern Kansas. For three years he was located at Wellington, after which he retired from the active ministry and spent the last twenty years of his life at his home in that city, where his death occurred July 30, 1916. He was a colonel of the East Ohio Militia in the Civil war and in politics a republican. To mention only the bald facts of biography is to do injustice to the nobility of his character and his real influence in his generation. Perhaps two quotations can supply some of the deficiencies in this respect. The first is from a Wellington journal, which spoke of him as “Wellington’s Grand Old Man.” “The Rev. Samuel Price, after thirty-four useful years in this community, had been summoned to his reward He went as he lived, kindly, smiling, brave, leaving behind a ray of sunshine which no...

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Biography of Tillman E. Dale

Tillman E. Dale. Distinguished as the oldest oil contractor and driller in the mid-continent fields, Tillman E. Dale, one of the substantial men of Chanute, Kansas, is one of the best known oil men in Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming, having operated in every field in earlier days in the business and is the pioneer in Neosho County. Mr. Dale was born March 1, 1862, in Buchanan County, Iowa. His parents were George and Mary Robinson (Davey) Dale, both natives of England. George Dale, the paternal grandfather, was born in England in 1807 and remained in his own country until he found a young family growing up about him for whose welfare he was concerned and it was to the great land across the Atlantic Ocean that he looked to provide comfortable conditions for his children. Possibly about 1835 he brought his family to the United States and settled among the pioneers in Wisconsin, not far from Monroe. In 1856 he came to Allen County, Kansas, and worked on what is now known as the old Doctor Wakefield farm, near Humboldt. He died in Wisconsin in 1864. George Dale, second, father of Tillman E. Dale, was born in England’ in 1828 and was only a boy when his parents came to America and settled in Wisconsin. He became a carpenter and builder and owned a sawmill in Wisconsin. In 1856,...

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Biography of Frank A. Bardwell

Frank A. Bardwell. A large majority of the men who are engaged in working the oil fields of Kansas have been devoting their energies to this line of work all of their lives, whether as employes, employers, contractors, drillers or producers. They have had the experience from early youth and it is but natural that they should meet with success in their undertakings granted that opportunities are the same. But there is another class among the men who are making this one of the great industries, this being formed of the men who had their training in other fields of business endeavor, and who have had their own problems to work out and their commercial battles to fight with men who by reason of their experience were better equipped. In the cases where these men have won, their success is more than creditable. In the latter class of Kansas producers is found Frank A. Bardwell, of Chanute, whose uniformly successful career had invaded various avenues of business life. Mr. Bardwell was born at Ottawa, the county seat of LaSalle County, Illinois, August 11, 1870, and is a son of A. G. and Mary (Drake) Bardwell, and is of English descent, the family having come to America from England previous to the American Revolution and settled in New York. His grandfather was a native of Pennsylvania, who carried on the...

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Biography of Orlian Scott Redfield

A spirit of undaunted enterprise characterizes Orlian Scott Redfield in the conduct of his extensive business interests. He is proprietor of two grocery houses in Muskogee and is one of the proprietor successful merchants of the city, a point to which he has attained by reason of indefatigable industry, intelligently directed. He started out in life without special advantages and steadily, step by step, has worked his way upward. He has also found opportunity for cooperation in those activities which make for progress and improvement in the community, or which constitute a source of worth to the individual, his labors for his fellowmen being based upon a broad humanitarian spirit. Orlian Scott Redfield was born in Humboldt, Kansas, on the 5th of October, 1879, and is a son of Orrin Sylvester and Sarah (Hiens) Redfield. The father was a grocer, conducting business along that line for many years. Orlian Scott Redfield obtained a public school education and in early boyhood gained considerable knowledge of the grocery trade by reason of the fact that his father was conducting a store of that character. In 1908 he became associated with the grocery interests of Muskogee, entering the Pure Food Grocery in association with his brother, John Clark Redfield, and then further extending his activities and interests by the purchase of the Brown C. O. D. Grocery house in 1915. In the...

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Biography of Robert Garner Emmert

Robert Garner Emmert of Muskogee, a partner in one of the large life insurance agencies of Oklahoma was born in Humboldt, Kansas, October 21, 1873. His education was largely acquired in Mount Carroll, Illinois, and he initiated his business career by becoming identified with a building and loan association as a salesman. At the same time he sold life insurance and for years conducted a life insurance business in Colorado and in Texas. In 1904 he came to Muskogee, where he joined his brother in establishing the firm of Emmert Brothers, general agents for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, their territory covering eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas. Through the intervening period of seventeen years the business has steadily developed until it has reached very gratifying proportions. In August, 1903, Mr. Emmert was married to Miss Doris Helen Kamnitz of Dallas, Texas, and they have become parents of a daughter, Maxine Roberta. Mr. and Mrs. Emmert are members of Grace Episcopal Church and he is president of the Men’s Club of that church and also actively identified with the Young Men’s Christian Association. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, has attained the Knights Templar degree of the York Rite, the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and is a member of Divan Temple of the Mystic Shrine. His name is on the membership roll of the Benevolent...

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Biography of James A. Campbell, Dr.

Dr. James A. Campbell has been in the successful practice of dentistry at Humboldt for the past eleven years, and aside from his professional success had made himself a leader in the city’s affairs. He is president of the Board of Trade of Humboldt. He was born at Bangor, Michigan, December 13, 1881. His father, Andrew Campbell, was born at Clintyfinea Armory in Ireland in 1847. The grandfather Campbell is still living on the old homestead in Ireland. Andrew Campbell grew up in his native country, learned farming there, and in 1867 emigrated to the United States. His first employment was in the chemical works at Decatur, Michigan, after which he farmed and finally removed to Bangor, where he continued farming until his death in 1892. He was a democrat and for many years served on the school board of Bangor. Fraternally he was affiliated with the Knights of Maccabees. Andrew Campbell married Martha Nower, who was born in 1851 on a farm in Pawpaw Township of Van Buren County, Michigan, and died at Bangor in 1891. Their children were: Frances, wife of Frank Whitney, who is connected with the Ridpath Lyceum Bureau and lives at Columbus, Ohio; Catherine, wife of Harry J. Lurkin, a county farm adviser, living at Benton Harbor, Michigan; Dr. James A.; Etta May, wife of Charles Marshall, a machinist living at Detroit, Michigan. Doctor...

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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 Edward Henry Leitzbach

Edward Henry Leitzbach. The thirty odd years since he came to Humboldt have dealt kindly with Edward Henry Leitzbach. In that time he had attained one of the most substantial business positions in the community, had acquired a large share of material prosperity, and had used his means and ability wisely to promote those institutions and affairs which are most vitally connected with a city’s welfare. Though of German ancestry, as his name indicates, Mr. Leitzbach was born in Connecticut at Robertsville in the town of Colebrook on August 6, 1864. His father, Nicholas Leitzbach, was born on the River Rhine in Germany in 1827. He was educated in his native land, learned the trade of cabinet maker, and served his time in the German army, being a participant in the war between Denmark and Germany during the close of the forties. He came to the United States in 1857, locating at Robertsville, Connecticut, where he followed his trade for many years. In 1887 he followed his son to Humboldt, Kansas, and continued working at his trade about ten years. His death occurred in December, 1911. In American politics he was allied with the democratic party. Nicholas Leitzbach married Elizabeth Esslinger. She was born in Germany in 1840, a daughter of Daniel Esslinger. Daniel Esslinger was born in Germany in 1812, brought his family to America about 1853, and...

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Biography of Charles M. Hilleary

Charles M. Hilleary, who had identified himself since early youth with educational work and is now superintendent of the city schools of Humboldt, represents one of the early pioneer families of Bourbon County. He was born at the Village of Xenia in Bourbon County, Kansas, May 28, 1879. His people located in that section of southeastern Kansas prior to the Civil war. The Hillearys came originally from England and were colonial settlers in Virginia. Professor Hilleary’s grandfather Daniel Stump Hilleary was born in 1823. In early life he removed west, to Ohio, later into Illinois, and still later to Kansas. He served in the American armies in the war with Mexico and was captain of a company. His active career was spent as a farmer, and he died in Xenia, Kansas, in 1888. He married a Miss Pritchard, a native of Ohio, and she died near Newark in that state in 1848. Lucius W. Hilleary, father of Charles Marion Hilleary, was born at Newark, Ohio, July 18, 1848. He spent part of his early life there, and went with his father to Vermillion County, Illinois, where he grew up on a farm. In 1866 he came with Daniel S. Hilleary to Kansas and located in Bourbon County at Xenia. He married there, and for many years was engaged in farming and merchandising. In April, 1885, he removed to Stafford...

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Biography of S. G. Isett, Col.

Col. S. G. Isett. In the history of the oil industry in Kansas there is no better known figure than Col. S. G. Isett, the man who made Chanute famous. He had been connected with the production and handling of oil since 1902, and had been identified with some of the most famous wells the country had known. Colonel Iselt had had an interesting and spectacular career, featured by incidents and experiences any one of which would have satisfied the ordinary individual’s desire for adventure; but while he bears bodily scars as mementos of the thrilling times through which he had passed, his mental capacity remains unimpaired, and today, with faculties sharpened and fully developed, he maintains his position as a leading business man of Chanute, in the midst of the stern competition of the younger generation growing up about him. Colonel Isett is descended from Green ancestors who operated as merchants on the high seas, and who drifted into England, France and Germany, from which last-named country they came to America prior to the Revolution, first settling in Connecticut, later going to Virginia, then to Pennsylvania. In the Old Dominion State, in 1814, was born James K. Isett, the father of the Colonel. He was reared in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, from whence he went to Huntingdon County, in the same state, and was there married. As a successful...

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Biography of B. S. Smith

B. S. Smith is one of the oldest business men of Humboldt. He had been a merchant there thirty years. In that time he had built up the largest and most complete dry goods establishment not only in the city but in that part of the state: It is a splendid store, stocked with a varied assortment of all the goods required by a discriminating trade, and had been built up on the foundation of square and honest dealing and a careful and painstaking service. Mr. Smith is also well known in other lines of business and as a public spirited citizen. He is an example of success attained in spite of early disadvantages and handicaps. Bergen Stelle Smith was born at Quakertown in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, July 27, 1857. His father, Zachariah Smith, was born in the same part of New Jersey in 1832, was a merchant tailor, and died at Quakertown, New Jersey, in 1862 when only thirty years of age. He was a member of the Baptist Church. He married Lydia Ann Johnston, who was born in 1835 and is now living at Paterson, New Jersey. Mr. and Mrs. Zachariah Smith had three children: William Judson, a resident of Humboldt, Kansas; Emma L., at home with her mother at Paterson, New Jersey; and Bergen S. Mrs. Zachariah Smith married for her second husband Nicol Graham....

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