Location: Iola Kansas

Biographical Sketch of John Francis

John Francis, one of the leading pioneers and public men of Allen County and his section of the state, was born in Norfolk, England, April 24, 1837, and soon after be had attained his majority came to the struggling territory as an ardent advocate of free statehood. In the fall of 1858 he settled at Osawatomie, and during the following winter was one of John Brown’s closest followers. In March, 1859, he took up his residence on a pre-emption claim in Allen County. In July, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, Fifth Kansas Regiment, and served until November, 1863, when he was discharged for disability. Soon afterward he was elected clerk of Allen County and, by his re-election in 1864, held the office for two terms. He then served for two suecessive terms as county treasurer; performed the duties of clerk of the District Court from 1865 to 1868, and in 1869-77 was a resident of Iola. During that period he was a merchant of the place, although, by appointment and election, he acted as state treasurer in 1874-82. In 1899 and in 1901 he was chosen a member of the State House of Representatives, at the latter session being chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Later he served on the tax commission of the state, in which capacity he added to his reputation as an able and...

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Biographical Sketch of Edward H. Funston

Edward H. Funston, who as a resident of Allen County served in both houses of the Kansas Legislature and a member of the United States Congress, was a native of Clark County, Ohio, born September 16, 1836. He was of Irish descent. Mr. Funston received only a fair education in his earlier years, worked on the farm, taught school and pursued a partial course at Marietta College, Ohio. Later that institution conferred the M. A. degree upon him. In 1861 he entered the Sixteenth Ohio battery and took part in the principal actions along the Mississippi River, until mustered out of the service in 1865. In 1867 Mr. Funston came to Kansas and loested on a prairie farm in Carlyle Township, Allen County. He was elected to the State Legislature in 1873, was re-elected at each of the two succeeding annual elections, and was speaker of the House the last year. In 1880, he was elected to the State Sanate and served as president pro tempore of that body. After four years in the State Senate, he was elected to Congress on March 1, 1884, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Dudley C. Haskell, and was re-elected at each succeeding term until 1892, when he was defcated by a fusion of the democratic and populist parties. He was given the certificate of election, but his seat...

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Biography of Wallace H. Johnson

Wallace H. Johnson. The newspaper men of Kansas, as a rule, need no glowing encomiums from other professions or the public. Their guild includes names that are as household words from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The newspapers of Kansas are moulding public opinion daily through the accurate knowledge and wide vision of the men in the editorial chair, and that the state had made such remarkable progress and had, in many ways, pushed so far ahead of many of her sister states of the Union, may justly be credited to the facile pen that gives expression to truths, calling the necessity for reform to thousands of readers, courageously telling the truth concerning shams and subterfuges and giving praise to the uplifting movements that hearten and encourage the people. Many cities in this far favored state have such wise, enlightened and earnest editors, and such an one had Saline in Wallace H. Johnson, who is the editor and owner of the Salina Sun. Wallace H. Johnson was born in Ohio, May 20, 1838. In 1856 he accompanied his parents to Kansas and practically had spent his time here ever since. He attended the public schools in his native state but the only university he ever was graduated from was that of experience. he was probably born to be a journalist, for his first ambition was to learn the printer’s...

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Biography of Ed J. Dunfee

Ed J. Dunfee. One of the most difficult of the officers under the Kansas form of government is that of county sheriff. The discharge of the duties of this position calls for the incumbent to possess qualities of personal courage, tempered with diplomacy and tact, executive capacity, and no small amount of detective ability. To successfully serve in this office in a manner that wins the admiration of the community to such a degree that re-election is secured without opposition is something unusual, but this had been the experience of Ed J. Dunfee, sheriff of Allen County, now serving his second term. Sheriff Dunfee had been a life long resident of Kansas, and had been acting in an official capacity since 1911. His public record is one characterized by faithful attention to the duties which have devolved upon him. Ed J. Dunfee was born at Fredonia, Wilson County, Kansas, June 19, 1874, and is a son of John W. and Emma (Joyce) Dunfee. He comes of sound Irish stock on both sides of the family, and it is probable that the first Dunfee of this branch to come to the United States from Erin was the grandfather of Sheriff Dunfee, who settled first in Pennsylvania and later removed to Ohio. Bishop Joyce, of Kansas, is a brother of Sheriff Dunfee’s mother. John W. Dunfee was born in 1847, in...

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Biography of Peter J. Ringler

Peter J. Ringler, who is manager and part owner of the Parsons Bottling Works, one of the largest concerns of its kind in the state, has had a very active and successful business career. He was born in Livingston County, Illinois, December 14, 1868. His grandfather Peter Ringler was born in Kurhessen, Germany, came to the United States about 1876 after his wife had died in Germany, and lived on a farm in Livingston County, Illinois, until his death. In Germany he was a contractor for the building of railroads, and he also served his regular term in the German army. Peter Ringler, Jr., father of the Parsons business man, was born in Kurhessen, Germany, in 1825. He came to this country about 1843, locating first in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was engaged in the bakery business, and afterwards for several years was connected with the Armour Packing Company in Chicago. He was married while living in Chicago and from there moved to a farm in Livingston County, Illinois. That farm was where he reared his children. In 1882 he moved to Sibley, Iowa, continued farming in that state for a number of years, and in 1906 went to the Northwest, spending a short time in Dakots, and from there went to Minnesota. He died in March, 1915, in a hospital at Staples, Minnesota. He was a democrat, had...

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Biography of William Wesley Robb

William Wesley Robb, who is superintendent of the electric light plant at Chanute, began his career as a locomotive fireman and had filled many positions of responsibility, chiefly as a manager of machinery and plants, and much of his service had been rendered in the State of Kansas. He is of Scotch ancestry. His great-grandfather came from Scotland and was an early settler in Ohio. His grandfather, James Warren Robb, was born in the State of Illinois, in 1824, and died in Mercer County in that state in 1902. By profession he was an attorney, but many years ago he came out to Kansas with his son and and took up a homestead in Dickinson County, where he lived about eighteen years. He then removed to Wisconsin and afterwards to Illinois. Rev. J. W. Robb, father of William Wesley, had spent a large part of his life in Kansas, and was a participant in the pioneer activities in the western part of the state. He was born in 1851 in Mercer County, Illinois, grew up there, and when a young man went to Minnesota. He became a minister of the Presbyterian Church, and was married in Minnesota where he preached the gospel for several years. He was also pastor of a church in Illinois. It was in 1873 that he brought his family to Kansas and located in Dickinson...

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Biography of William Lanyon

William Lanyon. More than any other the name Lanyon is distinctive of the zinc industry in Southeastern Kansas, particularly at Pittsburg. The Lanyon family had been prominent in this particular industry for several generations. To a large degree the importance of Pittsburg as a zinc manufacturing center is due to the enterprise of the Lanyons who came to this part of Kansas more than thirty years ago from their original home in Southern Wisconsin, where they had operated extensive mining and manufacturing industries. Though he was one of the earliest of the family to take an active part in the zinc industry in Southeastern Kansas, Mr. William Lanyon gave up many of his interests in that field some years ago, and is now best known as a banker and leading citizen. He is vice president of the National Bank of Pittsburg and is now serving as mayor of the city. He was born at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, December 26, 1862. His father William Lanyon was a native of England, where he was born in 1830. Six years after his birth his parents came to the United States and finally settled in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. He grew up there, married, and was first engaged in the grain business. Coming to Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1882, he was a pioneer in the development of the coal fields and the operation of the...

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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 Davison L. Youmans

Occupying public office ins Muskogee and previously in Kansas through a number of years, Davison L. Youmans has ever been found loyal to the trust reposed in him and has labored earnestly and effectively to advance public welfare and municipal progress. While born in the east the greater part of his life has been spent west of the Mississippi and he has ever been imbued with the spirit of western enterprise and progress which has been a dominant factor in the up building of this section of the country. A native of Pennsylvania, his birth occurred in Freemansburg, that state, October 30, 1866, his parents being William and Amanda (Lynn) Youmans, the former a farmer by occupation. The removal of the family to Kansas during the early boyhood of Davison L. Youmans enabled him to pursue his education in the public schools of Osawatomie and when his school days were over he started out in the business world in connection with the ice trade in Kansas. For some time he was engaged in ice manufacturing in Iola and in Olathe, Kansas, but disposed of his business there in 1919. In April, 1903, he organized the Crystal Ice Company of Muskogee and carried on business under that style until 1911, when he established the City Ice & Cold Storage Company and through the intervening period to the year 1920 successfully...

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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 Hermon John Tholen, Jr.

Hermon John Tholen, Jr. Prominent among the business men of the younger generation who have won success and prominence in commercial affairs of Iola, Kansas, is Hermon John Tholen, Jr., treasurer of the Iola Wholesale Grocer Company. Mr. Tholen had been connected throughout his business career with this concern, which was founded by his father, and which occupies a place of leadership among the enterprises of its kind in this thriving Kansas City. Mr. Tholen was born June 26, 1885, at Humboldt, Kansas, and is a son of Hermon John and Ella (Koppers) Tholen. His father was born in 1854, in the Province of Hanover, Germany, and was a young man when he came to the United States, settling at Humboldt, Kansas, in 1878. There he was married to Miss Ella Koppers, who was born in 1856, in Prussia, Germany, and was brought to the United States by her parents when fourteen years of age. Mr. Tholen’s first business venture in this country was a dealer in ice, subsequently he embarked in the retail grocery trade, and finally broadened out into wholesale groceries and remained in the latter line at Humboldt until 1900. In that year he changed his location to Iola, where he became the founder of the Iola Wholesale Grocer Company, of which he continued to be present until his death, February 11, 1911. Mr. Tholen was...

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Biography of George W. Pens

George W. Pens. The oil fields of Kansas have attracted to them men of experience who have made this industry the study and the business of their lives. It is through the expert work and knowledge of these men that the industry had been developed to its present proportions. No mere tyros could have brought about the present great production; it needed the activities of experienced, trained oil producers to develop and regulate this great industry, which is proving to be one of the state’s greatest assets. Perhaps Indiana had contributed as many of these men as any other state, and from the Hoosier commonwealth had come George W. Pens, who is known as one of the leading oil contractors of Chanute. Mr. Pens was born in the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, February 22, 1873, a son of E. C. Pens. His father was born in Germany in 1828, and as a young man came to the United States, locating at Fort Wayne. There he secured employment as a machinist in the railroad shops, where he worked for five years, and in 1878 came to Kansas as a pioneer farmer, locating in the vicinity of Humboldt. He continued to be engaged as an agriculturist during the remainder of his life, and passed away at the city named in 1901. Mr. Pens saw nine years of service in the...

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Biography of Charles H. Apt

Charles H. Apt first came to Kansas in the weeks following the first election of Grover Cleveland for the presidency. He had already been thoroughly trained and for a time had practiced law in Ohio, and deciding upon a location in Kansas, he transferred his professional interests to this state and for more than thirty years had been a successful lawyer, had acquired a large amount of farming interests, and is one of the best known citizens of Iola. He is now head of the law firm of Apt & Apt, having a son in partnership with him. The Apt family originated in Switzerland. Mr. Apt’s grandfather, Henry Apt, was born in Pennsylvania, probably of Swiss parentage, followed the business of carder and wool worker, and died at Basil in Fairfield County, Ohio. Frederick W. Apt, father of Charles H., was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1824, but when a boy was taken to Fairfield County, Ohio. He grew up and married there, and was a blacksmith by trade. In 1861 he enlisted for service in the Union army, but in a short time was discharged. In 1863 he removed to Indiana and soon afterward again enlisted, this time in the Eighty-seventh Indiana Infantry. He remained in the service until the close of the war, and suffered such hardships and exposure that he was taken seriously ill before...

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Biography of Alfred Harris Hecox

Alfred Harris Hecox. One of the native sons of Allen County who are now holding official positions in the employ of the United States Government, is Alfred Harris Hecox, who since July, 1914, had served in the capacity of postmaster of the City of Iola. Mr. Hecox had had a diversified and interesting career, in which he had visited various parts of the country and engaged in a number of different occupations which have brought him in close touch with the public and at the same time had given him a broadened experience. These qualities have served him well in the discharge of his official duties and have helped to make him a popular and efficient official. Mr. Hecox is descended from English ancestors who left their native land and located in the Colony of Connecticut prior to the American War of the Revolution, and from that community the family branched out into other localities to the west and south, the branch of which Mr. Hecox is a member having found settlement in Illinois. He was born on a farm in Allen County, Kansas, October 30, 1869, and is a son of Jeremiah and Sarah (Harris) Hecox. Jeremiah Hecox was born in 1826, in Hancock County, Illinois, and was there reared and married and engaged in farming. He was past middle life when he ventured to take his place...

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Biography of Paul Stafford Mitchell, M. D.

Paul Stafford Mitchell, M. D. Incomplete indeed would be any history of Kansas which did not include distinctive mention of that large body of men who labor in the broad field of medical service. Some have chosen a particular path and some have chosen to work under a particular combination of methods, but all can be justly credited with scientific knowledge and a due regard for the preservation of the public health. To the profession of medicine, Dr. Paul Stafford Mitchell devoted the early years of his manhood, and today, after seventeen years of successful practice, stands as a representative of all that is best and highest in his line of human endeavor, and is justly accounted one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Iola. Doctor Mitchell was born at Cherry Grove, Rockingham County, Virginia, November 11, 1875, and is a son of Dr. Jacob A. and Emily (Furr) Mitchell. His father, born in 1807, at Londonderry, Ireland, ran away from home when still a lad and emigrated to the United States, and here completed a medical education and began the practice of his calling near Washington, Rappahannock County, Virginia. There he was married and subsequently went to Rockingham County, Virginia. He was successful as a practitioner and was in fairly good circumstances when the Civil war came on, but was an ardent Confederate sympathizer, put all his...

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