Location: Humboldt Kansas

Biography of Joel Moore O’Brien

Joel Moore O’Brien is proprietor of the largest department store in Allen County. The present business is the outgrowth of many years of successful experience and gradual development beginning with a single stock of groceries. Mr. O’Brien had proved himself a merchant of unusual sagacity and had been one of the principal factors in recent years in the development and progress of his home city. The O’Brien family had long been identified with the development of this section of Kansas. Mr. O’Brien’s grandfather Daniel Cornelius O’Brien was one of the Kansas pioneers. He was born in Ohio and in 1857 came to Kansas, homesteading 160 acres in Allen County, and keeping his home on the farm until his death in 1872. He died the same year J. M. O’Brien was born. The latter was born at Humboldt November 10, 1872. The old O’Brien farm on which Grandfather O’Brien lived and died is located three miles north of Humboldt. Daniel C. O’Brien owned the first store ever established in Humboldt. His son, William C. O’Brien, was one of the first mayors of the town, assisted in organizing the municipality, and also conducted the first grist mill and sawmill in this section of the state. Daniel C. O’Brien was first a whig and later a republican. Isaac N. O’Brien, father of the Humboldt merchant, was born in Pike County, Ohio, in...

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Biography of B. H. Achter

B. H. Achter. In a foremost place on the list of the men who are identified with large business interests at Iola, Kansas, is found the name of B. H. Achter, president of the Iola Wholesale Grocer Company. Mr. Achter is one of the men who have worked their own way to prosperity and prominence, for when he came to this country he was without capital or influence and was compelled to depend alone upon his own resource and ability. His career had been one of marked advancement, and the material rewards which have been his have been fairly and honorably won. B. H. Achter was born in the Province of Hanover, Germany, March 9, 1850, and is a son of William B. and Angela Achter. His grandfather was Herman H. Achter, who passed his entire life in Hanover as a farmer, and participated in one of the early wars of his country as a teamster. William B. Achter was born in 1804, in Hanover, and early adopted the vocation of a farmer, following that calling throughout a long and active life. He died in his native province in 1876, in the faith of the Roman Catholic Church. He and his wife were the parents of five children: H. H., who still lives in Germany and is engaged in farming; Mary Anna, who died as the wife of Herman...

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Biography of Ario C. Mendenhall

Ario C. Mendenhall. While the Mendenhall name had been well and honorably known in Kansas for more than a quarter of a century, it is to Pennsylvania that the biographer must turn for the family’s earlier history. It had been established that three brothers of that name came to the American colonies from England at the same time that William Penn headed his party of colonists, and that one of these remained with the great Quaker colonist and peacemaker, and that one crossed the line into Ohio while the third was lost in the far west. The Mendenhalls that Kansas had known descended from the Pennsylvania settler and are yet numerous in the old Keystone State. A worthy representative of this family and bearer of its honorable name, is Ario C. Mendenhall, who, for the past eighteen years had been prominent in the business life of Chanute, Kansas. He was born at Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, December 18, 1870. His parents were Lorenzo Don and Sarah Jane (Lemon) Mendenhall. Lorenzo Dow Mendenhall was born in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, October 17, 1827, a son of Eli Mendenball, who spent his entire life in Columbia County, dying in 1888, at the age of eighty-four years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Davis, died in 1874 in her native state, at the age of seventy-nine years. They had four...

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Biography of Charles Purdy Ives

Charles Purdy Ives. Every substantial city in Kansas had reason to be grateful to a group of its individual citizens who took the lead in affairs and largely molded those influences and institutions which make the community noteworthy and distinctive. Baldwin City thus honors the memory of the late Charles Purdy Ives, who was not only a business man but a citizen who stood foremost in every movement for the general good. Mr. Ives had a very long and interesting career. He was born January 27, 1840, in West Plains, New York, now part of New York City. When a lad he carried messages on Wall Street. Perhaps it was that experience which kept him ever afterward in close touch with commercial affairs. His education was acquired in the public schools of Williamsburg, New York, and at Huntington Academy on Long Island. In his early youth he frequently attended the famous Fulton Street prayer meeting in New York City, and in one of those meetings in 1857 he was converted. Under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church he became a teacher in a mission school at Choctaw Agency, Indian Territory. When he went out to the far Southwestern country as it was then it was his intention to return East and attend Princeton College. That design was frustrated by the outbreak of the Civil war. When he did return...

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Biography of Augustus G. Dickinson

A. G. Dickinson is one of the leading business men of Humboldt, Kansas, and head of the Dickinson Hay & Grain Company, and for years had been vitally interested in the welfare and progress of this section of the state. Mr. Dickinson is a native of Allen County, Kansas. It will be appropriate in this connection to trace the movements of the family briefly from their point of origin to this middle western state. The Dickinsons were English people. In the early colonial days three brothers set out for America. One of them went to Nova Scotia, one to New York, and one to Connecticut. The Connecticut branch of the family is the one to which Augustus G. Dickinson belongs. The latter’s grandfather was Phineas Dickinson, who was born in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1802. He grew up and married in Middletown, and became a manufacturer of edged tools. In 1841 he removed with his family to Ellenville, Ulster County, New York. Six years later, in 1841, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, then a small city, and he lived there only a short time until his death in 1849. From early youth he had been identified with the whig party, and in religion was a Methodist. Phineas Dickinson married Mary Maloney, also a native of Connecticut. She survived her husband a number of years and died in 1865 at Goose...

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Biography of Charles Fussman

Charles Fussman was a Kansas pioneer. He was one of the first settlers at Humboldt, and that community and Allen County will always pay a respectful regard to his memory and the high-minded and conscientious citizenship that he exemplified. He was a German by birth, and had those substantial virtues and qualities for which the German people are most respected. He was born at Frankfort on the Rhine in 1829. In the old country he learned the trade of tinsmith. Coming to the United States in young manhood, he first located in Uniontown, Iowa, but in 1857 arrived in the territory of Kansas. For a brief while he followed his trade at Lawrence, but in the same year, 1857, he arrived at Humboldt. Here he put up a log cabin home and established the first tin shop in all that locality. His first shop was at the old Fort on the Neosho River. Later he put up a two-story building at the corner of Bridge and Eighth streets, and it was for the dual purpose of a shop and a residence. It was hardly completed when in October, 1861, during an invasion of the Confederates and bushwhackers it was burned to the ground, along with nearly every other building on the townsite. His property and stock of goods were entirely destroyed. He and his young wife left the community...

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Biography of Fred H. Rhodes

Fred H. Rhodes is one of the prominent lumber dealers of Southeastern Kansas, and is now mayor of Humboldt. Three generations of the Rhodes family have been represented in Kansas, and the family had lived here upwards of half a century. It had furnished capable business men, farmers, and public officials to several counties in the state. The family was established in America by one of those self-denying and fearless missionaries of the Moravian faith, who came out of Germany during the eighteenth century. This ancestor, the great-great-grandfather of Fred H. Rhodes, spelled his name John Rothe. He was a missionary among the Indians in Pennsylvania. The first of the family to come to Kansas was Mr. Rhodes’s grandfather, Jacob Rhodes, who was born in New Jersey in 1811. He moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts, afterwards to Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, and in 1869 came as a pioneer to Mound City, Kansas. He followed farming and took an active part in local affairs, serving as a member of the county board of commissioners of Linn County, and was a member of the State Board of Charity. He died at Mound City, Kansas, in 1891. He married Pauline Blinn, a native of Massachusetts, who also died in Mound City. Fred H. Rhodes, who was born at Tunkhannock in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, May 25, 1868, is a son of J. B....

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Biography of Elmer Stover Emmert

Elmer Stover Emmert, senior partner of the well known firm of Emmert Brothers and thus head of one of the strong insurance agencies not only of Muskogee but of the state, was born in Humboldt, Kansas, May 18, 1868, and is a son of David B. and Margaret D. (Moffett) Emmert, the former a newspaper publisher. During the early boyhood of Elmer S. Emmert the parents removed with their family to Wichita, Kansas, and there he pursued his education in the public schools until a further removal was made to Albuquerque, New Mexico. After the death of his father, at that place, he went to Lanark, Illinois, where he finished his high school education, and then went west to seek his fortune, stopping at Topeka, Kansas, where he entered the employ of the Santa Fe Railroad Company and was thus employed for a period of ten years. He afterward became connected with a building and loan association and while thus engaged extended his efforts into the insurance field, writing insurance at various points in Colorado and Texas. The business career of his brother, Robert G. Emmert, was similar and with the ambition to establish an agency of their own they came to Muskogee in 1904, representing the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee. Soon afterward the firm of Emmert Brothers was made general agent for eastern Oklahoma and...

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Blaylock, Charles – Obituary

1933-2007 Charles Emery Blaylock, 74, of Burns, died March 11 at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. A celebration of life is planned for noon today at the Terrebonne Cemetery. Mr. Blaylock, known as Chuck, was born Feb. 3, 1933, to Martha Alice (Hill) and Cecil Emery Blaylock in Humboldt, Kan. In 1955 Chuck married Judith Nancy Bacon. Chuck lived his life on his own terms. He was a professional rodeo clown, bullfighter and entertainer for 27 years, retiring in 1976. He performed in Union County rodeos in 1967 and 1968. Chuck was also a singer, songwriter and comedian. Chuck remarried in 1966 to Patty Hammock. They had two children. Patty joined him in his act, and she was the first woman in the nation to be “in the barrel.” Survivors include his wife, Patty; children and their spouses, Lori Lee Nancy and Greg Brugato of Boise, Cecil “Ted” Theodore and Debbie Blaylock of La Grande, Charles “Rick” Richard and Cheryl Blaylock of Palmer, Alaska, John and Jamie Wesley of Enumclaw, Wash., and Ron Earnest of Bend; a sister, Evelyn Perkins of Albany; 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and his lifelong friend and rodeo partner, Benny Bidwell. He was preceded in death by his previous wife, Judith; siblings, Lora, Lavone, Richard, Clifford and Eugene; and a son, Rodney. Memorials may be made to local homeless shelters or a charity...

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Biography of Frank Morrison

Frank Morrison. Many of the men who are now engaged in oil producing and contracting in the Mid-Continent field had their earliest training in the great fields of Pennsylvania, and in this class is found Frank Morrison, who had been engaged in business at Chanute since 1904. Mr. Morrison was an experienced man when he came to this locality, and here at once entered actively into operation, his activities having extended continually with the passing of the years. He is one of the men who are making this one of Kansas’ greatest industries. Frank Morrison was born at Princeton, Pennsylvania, January 14, 1870, a member of a family that had resided in the Keystone State since the early colonial days. His grandfather, Joseph Morrison, was born in that state, in 1818, and passed his entire life as a miner and collier, dying at Princeton in 1892. Erban Morrison, the father of Frank Morrison, was born in 1847, in Pennsylvania, and on growing to manhood became the proprietor of a mercantile business, which he conducted in connection with engaging in mining. He remained at Princeton until the spring of 1912, when he came to Kansas and located at Chanute, but one year later removed to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he is now identified with the Texas Refining Company. Mr. Morrison is a democrat. He was married at Princeton, Pennsylvania, to Miss...

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Biography of Frank C. Miller

Frank C. Miller. The substantial rewards of a business career seldom come so rapidly and in such liberal measure as had been true in the career of Mr. Frank C. Miller of Humboldt. Mr. Miller had lived in Humboldt since 1891. He was fifteen years of age when he came to the city, and his first occupation was the cigar manufacturing business, which he learned as an apprentice and followed as a journeyman for a number of years. In fact he gave up the cigar business only in 1908. Since then his interests have become widely and rapidly extended. In 1908 he engaged in the ice business, and is now owner of a large plant located on the Neosho River at West Bridge Street. He supplies the entire City of Humboldt and also a large surrounding territory with his products. Since 1912 he had been one of the leading oil and gas producers in this section of Kansas. His productions are chiefly in the field two miles south of Humboldt, where he had six producing oil wells and two gas wells. He is interested in many other leases around Humboldt. Among his property interests are a farm of 290 acres 4½ miles southwest of Humboldt; forty-five acres of oil land south and southwest of Humboldt; a farm of 135 acres which he had under lease northwest of Humboldt; a...

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Biography of H. F. G. Wulf

H. F. G. Wulf though a native of Germany grew up in Kansas, and had had a long and varied and successful experience as a farmer, merchant, and business man. His present home is at Humboldt, where he is president of the Monarch Cement Company. His abilities were called upon to reorganize that local industry. Judge Thomas C. Wilson, of the District Court, First Division, Sedgwick County, appointed him July 10, 1912, as receiver. The plant had become heavily involved, but Mr. Wulf soon had it reorganized, and in addition to paying every creditor a hundred cents on the dollar soon had the concern on a money making basis. He not only reorganized the plant and paid off its debts, but did not squeeze out a single stockholder who had any actual cash investment. The offices and plants are situated a half mile south of Humboldt. The Monarch Cement Company had a capacity of 2,000 barrels a day, and from 100 to 125 men are employed in the industry. Mr. Wulf was born in Steyerberg in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, November 20, 1871. His people were high class Germans. His grandfather, Frederick Wulf, was born in Steyerberg in 1805, served his regular term as a German soldier, and in 1885 immigrated to America, following other members of the family, and died the next year at Cheney, Kansas. He...

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Biography of Rev. James J. Barry

Rev. James J. Barry since his ordination as a priest of the Catholic Church had been identified with various Kansas missions and pastorates, and in the fall of 1915 became pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at Humboldt. Organized Catholic services were first held in Humboldt in 1866. The first church was begun in that year, though not completed in detail until 1868. The old church was replaced by the present substantial brick edifice in 1911. This is situated on the large grounds owned by the parish at Fifth and Central avenues. There is also a substantial rectory. The parish had sixty families and includes territory five miles north, eight miles west, six miles east and five miles south of Humboldt. The old building during the ’60s was superintended in its construction by Fathers Shoemaker and Ponzizlione. Colonel Thurston, a prominent pioneer, took the financial responsibility and bought the ground on which the church now stands. The original grounds comprised forty acres. The few Catholics then living in the vicinity of Humboldt lent all the aid they could toward the building of the original church. In 1869 Bishop Miege sent Father Heller to take charge of Humboldt and the surrounding Catholic community, but Father Heller gave up the task at the end of 1870. After that St. Joseph’s had no resident pastor for several years, though occasional services were...

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Biography of Lew Wallace Duncan

Lew Wallace Duncan. The close of the Civil war launched a new era of settlement in the West. Young men who had lately fought the battles of freedom and restored the unity of the nation abandoned their birthplaces and “hit the trail” leading to the boundless and trackless region beyond the “border.” Distance alone separated them from the beckoning prairies of an unknown plain and the scream of the locomotive had not been heard west of St. Louis, so that the “prairie schooner” method of reaching their destination had to be resorted to. Once across the Mississippi the mecca of the homeseeker was reached and the pioneer emigrants from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois began to “fall out” and squat among the guerillas and Bushwhackers of Missouri. James P. Duncan, one of this patriot band of homeseekers, did this and dropped down near Gooch’s Mill in Cooper County in the wilderness of forest and wild turkeys. Mr. Duncan’s stay in that semi-hostile region was a brief two years before he moved on to Kansas. He chose his location at Lawrence when the classic crown of “K. U.” was being added to the dome of Mt. Oread and he settled on the Colmore farm whose early owner was one of the victims of the Quantrell raid. Two years later the call of the Missouri wild beckoned him back among the “pukes...

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Biography of James A. Templeton

James A. Templeton. One of the most important industries of the southeastern part of Kansas is the production of oil, a business that has enlisted the best talents of skilled men from every part of this and other states, and of the men who are devoting their energies to this line of endeavor few are better known than is James A. Templeton, of Caney. Mr. Templeton has been engaged in this business from early youth and his success therein has been brought about through a combination which includes a thorough knowledge of conditions, business talent of a high order and constant, unremitting industry. Mr. Templeton is a native of London, Province of Ontario, Canada, where he was born July 11, 1871, a son of David and Sarah (Sumner) Templeton. The family originated in Scotland, from whence the grandfather of Mr. Templeton emigrated to Canada as a young man. David Templeton was born in 1849, at London, Ontario, and at the age of twenty-five years went to Petrolia, where he still resides. He has been an oil operator all his life, and has followed the opening of new fields in various parts of America, having for several years been largely interested in the Pennsylvania wells. He is still active in business, although now sixty-seven years of age, and through his operations has built up a large business and accumulated a...

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