Location: Independence Missouri

Biography of A. P. Fonda

A. P. Fonda has made a most creditable record as a farmer, as a lawyer and particularly as a citizen whose devotion to the welfare of the great majority Is a recognized fact. A resident of Independence, he was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, March 30, 1878, his parents being Anthony Philip and Laura D. (Wier) Fonda, the former a native of the state of New York and the latter of New Jersey. His parents became acquainted and were married in Leavenworth, Kansas. The father conducted the first wholesale grocery in Kansas City, which place was then known as Port Fonda. He was a veteran of the Civil war, having served in the Union army, enlisting in Michigan as a member of a regiment of that state. In the course of the war he was captured by his own brother, who was with the Confederate forces. A. P. Fonda acquired his early education in the public schools of Kansas City, Missouri, following the removal of the family from Leavenworth, and later attended the Marmaduke Military Academy at Sweet Springs, Missouri. He next became a student in the Case School of Applied Sciences at Cleveland, Ohio, and afterward attended Union College at Schenectady, New York. About this time the Spanish-American war began and he attempted to join the army but because of some physical defects was refused. He therefore represented the...

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Biography of Charles H. Browne

Charles H. Browne is proprietor and editor of the Horton Headlight-Commercial, now the only journal published in that enterprising and flourishing city of Brown County. Mr. Browne had been largely identified with newspaper work since he left school, and is a vigorous type of citizen and easily a leader in any community. For a number of years he had been connected with the National Guard of Kansas and had been especially active in recent events in which the country had been involved in tronble, first with Mexico and later with Germany. The Horton Headlight-Commercial is a consolidation of half a dozen different Horton newspapers. As reported in the “History of Kansas Newspapers,” issued by the Kansas State Historical Society, the Headlight-Commercial is a continuation of the Horton Headlight, founded in 1886 by Harley W. Brundige and Samuel Baer_ In 1901 it was consolidated with the Leader, which had been founded in 1899 by Johnson & Law. The name was changed to Horton Headlight-Leader, Johnson & Law editors and publishera. But the name was soon changed to Headlight, and this newspaper Mr. Browne purchased in 1906. In 1911 it consolidated with the Commercial under the name Headlight-Commercial, with Mr. Browne as editor and published. The Horton Commercial was founded in 1887 by John S. Sherdeman. At different times in its history the Headlight had had daily issucs. Mr. Charles H....

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Biography of Robert E. McFarland

Robert E. McFarland, late incumbent of the responsible position of attorney general of Idaho, by his faithful and capable discharge of duty won the highest commendation. Thoroughly versed in the principles of jurisprudence, he was well fitted to handle the intricate problems which presented themselves for solution, and his success affords the best evidence of his capabilities. He is a native of Missouri, born in Independence, November 21, 1857. The family is of Scotch lineage, the first American ancestors having crossed the Atlantic in colonial days and actively participated in the events which form the history of that epoch. They also battled for the freedom of the nation in the war of the Revolution. The father of our subject Rev. W. B. McFarland was born in Pennsylvania, whence he removed to Virginia, and later to Missouri. He married Miss Elvira Early, a sister of General Jubal Early, and at the age of sixty-five she departed this life. Rev. W. B. McFarland now resides in Iowa and has attained the advanced age of seven-ty-nine. He has led a long and useful life in the Methodist ministry, and is now practically retired, although he still preaches occasionally. One of a family of nine children, Robert Early McFarland was reared in a cultured home and acquired his education in Central College, at Fayette, Howard county, Missouri. He began reading law in Pettis...

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Biography of Elliott Carriger

Elliott Carriger. The year 1854 is the most significant in the entire history of Kansas as the settled abode of civilized white man. To say that a man came to Kansas in 1854 means that he was identified with all the conditions, events and developments which made a territory and then a state out of a region which in all preceding years of American history had lain barren and fruitless. It was not only on account of his early arrival in Kansas territory but also because of the widespread influence of his character and activities that the late Elliott Carriger should be remembered in history and given such tribute as the printed page can supply. This early pioneer of Shawnee County was a Tennesseean by birth, and was born in Carter County of that state in 1816. His father was John Carriger, and his grandfather was a native of Germany. His grandmother, whose maiden name was Elliott, was a native of Ireland. It was unusual for young men born a century ago, unless they were destined for some of the learned professions, to obtain a college education. Elliott Carriger was an exception. Though reazed on a farm, he was a college graduate and for some time taught in the institution where he was educated. He was a man of unusual natural talonts and his early training fitted him remarkably...

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Biography of John L. Curtis

JOHN L. CURTIS. – As one of the early and sturdy pioneers who assisted in opening these regions for the occupancy of his fellows that were to follow from the eastern states, and who has wrought with energy and assiduity in their development since, manifesting an ability and wealth of resources that have enabled him to grapple with the different problems that confront the frontiersman, and to overcome in these undertakings the subject of this sketch is deserving of a representation in any work that essays to chronicle the leading and prominent citizens of the county of Union. Mr. Curtis was born in the east in the year 1827, and had the misfortune to have his father removed from him by death. His uncle was appointed his guardian and at the tender age of twelve years, our subject entered upon the realities of life for himself, his first occupation being to act as a silver-plater for the famous firm of Rogers Brothers. Six years he continued with this company and then came west to Jackson county, Missouri, where he was favored with an opportunity to attend the Chapel Hill College, a privilege which he was not slow to take hold of and improve to the best advantage. Following his retirement from the college he acted as salesman in Independence for a time and then in 1850 came to Sacramento,...

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Biography of Walter Gordon Cadmus

Walter Gordon Cadmus is one of the prominent business men of Parsons. He had had a long and active career in varied lines of enterprise, but now for many years had been a factor in the Parsons Cold Storage and Crystal Ice Company, of which he is secretary, treasurer and general manager. His Cadmus ancestry had its original seat in Holland. His great-grandfather emigrated from Holland and settled at Plainfield, New Jersey, soon after the close of the Revolutionary war. His Grandfather Andrew L. Cadmus was born at Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1809, became a physician and surgeon, practiced for many years in New York City, and while still a resident there he died at Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1881. Daniel F. Cadmus, a son of this physician and father of the Parsons business man, was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1834. He spent his early life in Hoboken, New York City, Jersey City, and that vicinity. In 1854 he moved to Henry, Illinois, located on a farm there, and was married. He subsequently moved to Boone County, Iowa, where he conducted a sheep ranch. His business interests took him to the states of Illinois, Missouri, Alabama, Virginia, and in 1869 he paid his first visit to Kansas. He remained in the state from 1873 until 1881, when he went to Alabama, and his death occurred in...

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Biography of George W. Vaughn

George W. Vaughn. Constructive enterprise in America had had its most notable triumphs in railroad building. In that field American ingenuity, indomitable energy and resourcefulness, have been displayed at their best. The history of railway building on this continent had many splendid names, and some of the greatest of them belong to Kansas. Not least among them was the late George W. Vaughn, or Major Vaughn, as he was more generally known, who died at Leavenworth February 3, 1916. He had a national reputation in engineering circles, and was a man, who, from the common walks of life, attained wide fame. He was born in Genesee County, New York, in the Town of Perry on November 24, 1829. It will not be inappropriate to recall the fact that at the time of his birth there was hardly a mile of railroad construction in the United States. His life spanned the entire period of railroad progress not only in America but practically in the world, since even in England Stephenson and his associates were only making experiments with locomotion by means of railroads. He was reared on a farm. His educational opportunities were confined to the public schools. This lack of schooling was more than equalized by an intellect of a superior order. He was particularly gifted in mechanics, not merely with the skilled operation in handling of tools, but...

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Taylor, Delila Ann – Obituary

Mrs. Delila Ann Taylor, 96, a pioneer resident of Baker and Union counties, died early Tuesday at the home of her daughter in Wolf Creek community. Services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday at West and Co. Chapel with the Rev. Tom Foster of North Powder officiating. Burial will be in the Haines cemetery. Mrs. Taylor, daughter of Balam and Clara Phillips, was born near Topeka, Kan., on April 15, 1865. She attended schools in Kansas and in 1881 came to the Haines area with her parents from Independence, Mo. She married Thomas I. Taylor in 1883, and the family farmed near Haines until 1920 when they moved to Haines. Mr. Taylor died April 4,[April 2] 1926. Mrs. Taylor has made her home for a number of years with her daughter, Mrs. Ivy Nice. Survivors are two sons, Alonzo of Baker and Ralph of North Powder; a daughter, Mrs. Ivy Nice of North Powder; a sister, Mrs. Laura Morin of Hereford; 13 grandchildren; 35 great grandchildren; 12 great great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. Baker Democrat Herald, Thursday, 8 Mar 1962, Page # 3. Contributed by: Robert...

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Crookston, Marvel June Sharp Mrs. – Obituary

Marvel June Sharp Crookston, 80, of Halfway, died Jan. 2, 2005, at her home. Her funeral was Saturday at the Pleasant View 2nd Ward Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Provo, Utah. Interment was at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Marvel was one of five children born to Clark Elwood Sharp Sr. and Juanita Williams Sharp. She was the middle child and was born at Independence, Jackson, Mo., on Aug. 28, 1924. She married Ray Benjamin Crookston of Logan, Casche, Utah in the Logan LDS Temple on Jan. 6, 1943. They lacked four days of having been married 62 years when she died. Marvel was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all of her life. She held many responsible callings. She graduated from William Chrisman High School and also attended Brigham Young University for one quarter. Later in life she resumed her education, acquiring her associate of arts degree. After her marriage to Ray, the couple left for Arizona where he was stationed in the military. They moved to Utah so their growing family would be close to the church and BYU. Besides the love for her family, Marvel loved books. Most of her purchases were religious, classics, or self-improvement texts. She published articles, stories and poems and wrote an autobiographical novel about rearing her large family. Her organizational abilities...

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Biography of Henry J. Helmers, Sr.

Henry J. Helmers, Sr. The high rewards attainable through a life of industry, guided by a strong sense of integrity, are strikingly exemplified in the career of Henry J. Helmers, Sr., president of the Helmers Manufacturing Company of Leavenworth, and one of that city’s leading business citizens. Starting life handicapped by a lack of education, without financial assistance or influential friends, he had made his own way, fought his own battles and established for himself a place of honor and eminence in a community in which the mere occupancy of position is an indication of the possession of more than ordinary ability. Henry J. Helmers, Sr., is a native of Germany, and was born March 11, 1842. When an infant in arms he was brought to America by his parents, John H. and Sophia (Meyer) Helmers, the family crossing the ocean on one of the old slow-going vessels which made port at New Orleans. From that city the little party made its way by steamboat up the Mississippi to St. Louis, and then to Hermann, Missouri, in the vicinity of which place Mr. Helmers’ father engaged in farming. About the year 1870 the parents removed to Leavenworth, Kansas, and here both passed away. Henry J. Helmers was one of a large family of children, as well as one of twin brothers. He was reared near Hermann, Gasconade County, Missouri,...

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Biography of Albert P. McBride

Albert P. McBride. In the oil and gas districts of the Southwest no name had a greater significance as an operator, developer, and as a vitalizer of the resources and industries covering several states, than that of Albert P. McBride of Independence. Mr. McBride began his operations as an oil well contractor and producer more than thirty-five years ago. He had supplied enthusiasm, faith and much of the material means necessary to develop the oil and gas resources of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Associated throughout practically all his career with C. L. Bloom, he bore the brunt of responsibilities in opening up the oil and gas districts of this section of the country, and passed successfully through the period of discouragement and vicissitudes. He is a native Kansan, and was born in Miami County February 20, 1862. Doubtless the resourcefulness and energy which have characterized his own life came from his worthy ancestry. He is of Scotch, Irish and English lineage, and his first American forefathers, settled in Old Virginia as early as 1730. From Virginia the family went west to Tennessee. There is a record that James McBride accompanied by four brothers left the highlands of Scotland in 1730 and settled in the colony of Virginia. The names of the brothers were William, Jaseth, John and Andrew. All these brothers fought in the French and Indian wars in...

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Biography of Benjamin B. Harris

Benjamin B. Harris, attorney at law, City Clerk of San Bernardino, and treasurer of the Society of California Pioneers-of San Bernardino County, was born in Hanover County, Virginia, in 1824. When seventeen years of age he went to Nashville, Tennessee, and was there educated, graduating at Nashville University in 1845; studied law in a private office in that State, and was admitted to the bar of Tennessee. In 1847 he went to Panola County, Texas, expecting to remain there permanently, but the climate being malarious he suffered with liver troubles, which necessitated a change in his purposes. After the discovery of gold in California, he resolved to emigrate to the new El Dorado, and in March, 1849, started with a pack mule train of fifty-two men, to cross the plains, coming by the way of old El Paso, Chihuahua, Santa Cruz, Mexico, through Tucson and Yuma, Arizona. They had some trouble with the Apache Indians, who dogged their trail for days, and with whom they had a bloodless skirmish or two; the Indians knowing the superiority of the emigrants’ fire-arms, kept out of range of their guns. On crossing the Colorado river, where Yuma is now situated, they found it swollen by the melting mountain snows, to the width of 1 500 feet, and it was found necessary to improvise a ferry-boat in which to bring over their party,...

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Biography of John Milton Cunningham

John Milton Cunningham. Of the men who have long lent dignity and progressiveness to the business of ranching and farming in Osage County none are held in higher esteem than is John Milton Cunningham, who is now a resident of Caney and one of that city’s leading and influential citizens. During a long and successful career he has been identified prominently with financial matters in several parts of the country, but has always returned to agriculture as a vocation, and in this calling has found his greatest measure of prosperity. Mr. Cunningham was born in the City of Louisville, Kentucky, November 10, 1857, and is a son of Robert Morrison and Annie Elizabeth (Milton) Cunningham. His father was born in Green County, Alabama, March 13, 1829, and as a lad was taken to Louisville, Kentucky, in the schools of which city he was given a good education. His parents were Joseph Parks and Elizabeth F. (Webb) Cunningham, and he was brought up to habits of industry and honesty. Early becoming interested in financial affairs, he was connected with banking all of his life, and at the time of his death, November 25, 1878, was cashier of the First National Bank of Louisville, of which he had been the organizer. Mr. Cunningham was a deacon in the Presbyterian Church and one of his city’s substantial and highly respected citizens. He...

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Biography of George L. Banks

George L. Banks. A sterling pioneer and citizen who is now living virtually retired in the City of Independence, Mr. Banks is specially entitled to recognition in this history. He was one of the early settlers of Montgomery County and has contributed his full quota to its civic and industrial development and progress, and he was long one of the prominent and influential exponents of agricultural industry in this section of the state. High honors also are his for the valiant service which he gave as a soldier of the Union in the Civil war. Mr. Banks was born in Lake County, Indiana, October 13, 1839. His father, Orin Banks, was born in the State of New York, in 1800, and was there reared to manhood, his marriage having been solemnized in Schoharie County, that state. His entire active career was one of close association with the basic industry of agriculture and he was one of the pioncer farmers of LaPorte County, Indiana, where he established his home in 1845. In about 1850 he removed to Lake County, Indiana, where he died in 1856. He was a supporter of the democratic party until the organization of the republican party, when he transferred his allegiance to the latter. He was influential in community affairs and was called upon to serve in various township offices. Both he and his wife were...

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Biography of R. W. Cates

R. W. Cates is a director and assistant cashier in the First National Bank of Independence. By profession he is a lawyer and practiced for a number of years with his father, Joseph B. F. Cates, who is one of the oldest members of the legal profession in Kansas. Joseph B. F. Cates, who is now general attorney for the Prairie Pipe Line Company, with residence at Independence, was born in Grainger County, Tennessee, April 19, 1840. His parents were Charles and Elizabeth (Lloyd) Cates. Charles Cates was a native of North Carolina, where he was reared and educated, and his English ancestors had settled in the Carolinas when they were English colonies. Charles Cates was a farmer, and from his native state emigrated to Tennessee and became a pioneer settler. His wife, Elizabeth Lloyd, was also a native of North Carolina, and of Welsh ancestry. The only survivor in a family of three sons and three daughters, all of whom reached maturity, and the youngest of the family, Joseph B. F. Cates, gained his high rank in the profession as a result of many years of constant application and the over-coming of difficulties when he was young. His boyhood was spent in Tennessee, where he attended the common schools, his schooling being mingled with the performance of duties on the home farm. In 1860 he graduated from an...

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