Select Page

Location: Jackson County MO

Biography of Benton Miller

The subject of this sketch was born in Sardis, Monroe county, Ohio, December 26, 1838. He lived in his birthplace until he was sixteen years of age, when his parents moved to Missouri and settled in what is now Colfax township, Daviess county, in 1855. In 1861 he enlisted and served six months in the home guards, and in February, 1862, enlisted in Company A, First Missouri Cavalry Militia, in which he served during the war. In April, 1863, he was promoted from orderly sergeant to first lieutenaut, and for the last eighteen months he was in the service, had command of his company. He participated in all the engagements against General Joe Shelby in his raids in Missouri in 1863, also in the fights during General Sterling Price’s raids in this State and Kansas during the fall of 1864, and many skirmishes of less note with the guerrillas under Quantrell and Anderson. With his company, was mustered out at St. Louis on the 11th of February, 1865, and returned to the old homestead in Daviess county. Remaining upon the farm until the following October, he came to Gallatin and engaged in general merchandizing with his brother Michael, under the name of Miller & Brother, continuing the business until the fall of 1868, when he retired from the firm. In March, 1869, he again embarked in the mercantile business,...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Napoleon Bonaparte Blanton

Napoleon Bonaparte Blanton was born in Missouri about 1830, and in a letter written to Charles H. Dickson, several years before his death, thus explains the origin of his impressive name: “I was first named James by my grandfather on my mother’s side. My father was of French descent and was a friend of Napoleon, but my grandfather hated him. After my father and my grandfather had quarreled about Napoleon, my father changed my name to that of the great general.” In September, 1854, Mr. Blanton moved from Jackson County, Missouri, and settled on the Wakarusa. He left that locality in 1857 and became one of the members of the Humboldt Town Site Company. In the second year of the Civil war he was mustered into the Union service as captain of a company in the Kansas Infantry, but resigned in the following year. He had already served as a representative from Allen County in the First State Legislature; was instrumental in causing the land office to be moved from Mapleton to Humboldt in September, 1861, and was re elected to the State House of Representatives in 1868. He spent the last years of his life at Sulphur, Oklahoma, and died at Wichita, Kansas, where one of his married daughters resided, April 30, 1913, from injuries received in an automobile...

Read More

Biography of John H. Rice

John H. Rice had the distinction of having made his mark in two states of the Union of widely different tendencies–Georgia and Kansas. He was born in Greene County, Tennessee, November 14, 1825, and his father, a native of Virginia, was surveyor of the county, named for twenty-six consecutive terms. Mr. Rice commenced his higher education at Tusculum College, in his native county, of which his maternal uncle, Dr. Samuel W. Doak, was president. He was admitted to the bar in 1845 and, a few months afterward, opened an office at Cassville, Georgia. In 1855, in addition to conducting a fair legal business, he became editor of the Cassville Standard. In the following year he was elected major general of the Twelfth Division of the Georgia State Militia, as the Union candidate, and in 1857 located at Atlanta. There he founded the Franklin Printing Company, which, under his management, had become a large book publishing concern at the time of its destruction in the Civil war. Always a consistent opponent of secession, General Rice was prevented from taking part in the War of the Rebellion on account of a stroke of paralysis which he suffered in 1861. In May, 1865, he was appointed purchasing agent for the Federal cavalry forces then operating in Georgia, and served in that capacity until the forces were mustered out of the service in...

Read More

Biography of Col. James Montgomery

Col. James Montgomery, one of the free-state leaders in Kansas and an officer in the Civil war, was a native of Ashtabula County, where he was born in 1814, and was a cousin of the hero of Quebec. In 1837 he went to Kentucky, where he taught school. He moved to Pike County, Missouri, with his family, in 1852, and a year later located in Jackson County in order to be ready to enter Kansas as soon as the territory was organized and the lands opened to settlement. Some of his friends, among whom was Doctor Thornton, knowing him to be opposed to slavery, persuaded him to go to Bates County, Mo., by telling him that he could obtain as good land there as he could in Kansas. He accepted their advice, but quickly became dissatisfied and, returning to Kansas in 1854, purchased a claim from a proslavery settler about five miles from the present town of Mound City. It was not long until he was recognized as a leader by the free-state men of that locality. In 1857 he organized and commanded the “Self-Protective Company,” which had been formed to defend the rights of the anti-slavery settlers, and backed by this company Montgomery ordered some of the most rabid pro-slavery citizens to leave the territory. After their departure, he settled down to improve his claim, but later in...

Read More

Biography of Joseph G. Waters, Capt.

Joseph G. Waters, soldier, publicist, author of note, public speaker, lawyer, of Topeka, is an individuality out of the ordinary. As a soldier, his services were a credit to his country, and himself, and his five wounds received in action are witnesses of his activity. As an author his published utterances have been rarely seen outside his own family circle owing to the retiemce and innate modesty of the writer, but throughout his writings, whether prose or poetry, forcefulness, pleasing diction and pathos of high order predominated. For three decades his services have been in demand as a public speaker covering a wide variety of subjects and including patriotic political, economic and social questions. On the occasion of Queen Vietoria’s jubilee, he delivered the address in Topeka before those of English nativity or descent, and this was so highly esteemed by her majesty as to be one of six, out of thousands, to be selected as especially pleasing to the queen and worthy of being engrossed and placed in the English archives. For this Captain Waters received a grateful letter of thanks inspired by her majesty. For nearly half a century he had been one of the leading lawyers of Kansas and although past the three-score-and-ten years of life, he continues to be a conspicuous figure in the legals affairs of the state. Captain Joseph G. Waters was born...

Read More

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...

Read More

Biography of Thomas Harper Cobbs

Thomas Harper Cobbs, lawyer and senior member of the firm of Cobbs & Logan, 1111-1116 Third National Bank building, St. Louis, Missouri, was born August 26, 1868, on a farm in Fairview township, Lafayette county, about six miles southeast of Napoleon, Missouri. His father, Thomas T. Cobbs, was a native of Tennessee. His grandfather, Thomas Cobbs, was a native of Virginia and a descendant of EnglishWelsh parents. His grandfather was among the pioneer settlers of Lafayette county, having come to that county in 1830, and having built the first gristmill in that section. After his grandfather’s death, his father operated the old water power gristmill until it became out of date and then devoted himself to farming until 1890, when he retired and moved to Marshall, Missouri, where he died in 1913. His mother, Catherine Harper Cobbs, was a native of Woodford county, Kentucky, and a member of the Harper family, one of the best known families in the “blue grass” region. They were breeders of fine horses and were the owners of “Longfellow” and “Tenbroek,” two of the most famous race horses of their day. His mother died at Marshall, Missouri, in 1910. He has one brother, William S. Cobbs, of Norborne, Missouri, and one sister, Mrs. Ethel Hyland, of Marshall, Missouri, now living and has lost two sisters, Mrs. Catherine Chinn and Mrs. Sarah Drysdale. Thomas Harper...

Read More

Biography of Harry Jiencke

For about a quarter of a century Harry Jiencke traveled about over the State of Kansas as a salesman, building up a large acquaintance and business relationship, but for the past twelve years had been prominently identified with the oil and gas and various other industrial affairs of Independence, where he is one of the well known citizens. Of an old German family of Mecklenburg, he came to America when only a youth. He was born May 27, 1858. His father, Joachim Jiencke, was born in Mecklenburg in 1806 and died there in 1869. He was a man of more than ordinary prominence. He had extensive farming and stock raising interests, was a member of the legal profession and held a judicial office, and during his service in the regular army went through the rebellion of 1848. He was a member of the Lutheran Church. His wife, Henrietta Ahrens, was born in Germany in 1818 and died there in venerable years in 1905. To their marriage were born a large family, fifteen children, and a brief record of them is as follows: William, now deceased; Gustav, a confectioner living in Chicago; Mina, who died in infancy; Louisa, still living in Mecklenburg, Germany, the widow of Henry Demin, who was a miller; Fritz, deceased; Karl, deceased; Marie, living in Mecklenburg, the widow of Otto Beutler, who was a confectioner; Panl,...

Read More

Biography of James C. Shimer

Thirty years or association with the coal and feed business at Topeka had established for James C. Shimer a reputation for ability, resource and unflagging industry. He is one of the captains of suscess who have piloted their own craft to harbor. In his numerous varieties of experience, he had gained the good will of his fellow men, had made a place for himself in the business world and had served his county faithfully and well in public office, and out of all his struggles had evolved the belief that hard work rarely injures any one and that straightforward dealing always pays. His father, Caleb D. Shimer was born in Ohio, and as a young man went to Indiana, where he was engaged in the feed business until the Civil war came on. At that time he became keeper of a tollgate on the National Pike, outside of Indianapolis, the last one to be built in the county, and of this he continued keeper until the close of the war. He then returned to the feed business, but four years later purchased a small farm near Bethel, Indiana, which he continued to operate, with the making of candles as a side line, for many years. He died March 20, 1916, at the age of ninety-three years. Mr. Shimer married Ellen Bingham, who was born in Indiana, and they became...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Allen, Thomas

Allen, Thomas, son of Thomas and Anne C. (Russell ) Allen, was born October 19, 1849, at St. Louis, Mo. He was educated at the high school, Pittsfield, Mass., at the Williston Seminary, Easthampton, and then entered the Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., after which he studied art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, at Dilsseldorf, Germany, where he graduated from the master class in 1878, and afterward studied three years in France. He first exhibited his work in New York, at the National Academy of Design, in 1877, and has been represented in the National Academy at almost every exhibition since then. In 1882 and in 1884 was made an associate of the National Academy of Design. In 1880 he was elected a member of the Society of American Artists. His specialty is landscape and animal painting. After nearly ten years of foreign study, he opened his studio in the Pelham Studio on Boylston Street, Boston; not finding it sufficiently commodious, however, and meeting with marked success as a painter, he purchased a house on Commonwealth Avenue, in 1883, for a permanent home, and there built a large studio at the top of the house which he now occupies. Mr. Allen was first married in 1880, in Northampton, to Eleanor G., daughter of Prof. J. D. and Louisa (Goddard) Whitney of Cambridge, who left him one child;...

Read More

Biography of Lawrence Pembroke Browne

Lawrence Pembroke Browne, father of Evan H., was born in Pennsylvania and his wife in Ohio. He came to Kansas City, Missouri, as a clerk for the firm of Northrop & Chick, one of the few business houses of any importance at that time, and later, in partnership with W. H. Chick, who yet survives, became the owner of the business. In 1884 this business, general merchandise, was incorporated by the Browne family, the Chick interests being then eliminated. Until the time of his death, in 1893, Lawrence Pembroke Browne continued at the head of this business, which was largely in the Mexican trade. The building of the railroads was the influence that caused its stsady progress westward, on through Kansas and Colorado and to Las Vegas, New Mexico, where there is a store at the present but the old business was sold in 1915. Mr. Browne in 1866 located in Junction City and then followed the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, settling at each tarminal, and later pursnod the same method along the Santa Fo Road. His whole time was given to his business affairs, in which he showed much enterprise. Evan H. Browne attended the schools in his native city and later Wyandotte Academy in Kansas City, Kansas, after which he went to work in the private banking house of Northrop & Son. After one year...

Read More

Biography of John Holt Rice

John Holt Rice was educated at Tusculum College in his native county. At that time his uncle, Dr. Samuel W. Doak was president of the school. In February, 1845, at the age of nineteen, John H. Rice was admitted to the bar. In the following May he located at Cassville, Georgia, where he took up an active practice. In 1855 he became editor of the Cassville Standard, carrying those responsibilities in addition to his legal practice. January 1, 1856, he was elected major general of the Twelfth Division of the Georgia State Militia. That election was important because of its bearing upon the issues then most prominent before the people in Georgia and all the South. John H. Rice was Union candidate for this office, and received a majority of 1,772 votes over Col. E. M. Gault, who was the Southern Rights candidate. The following year Major Rice removed to Rome, Georgia, where he remained a short time, and then went to Atlanta, where he founded the Franklin Printing Company. Under his able management this developed as a large book publishing concern, and it continued to grow until the war came on. During the war the plant was destroyed. The achievements of John H. Rice seems the more remarkable when it is recalled that for more than forty years be lived under the shadow of sudden death. In 1861...

Read More

Biography of Andrew Calvin Sewell

Andrew Calvin Sewell, a younger brother of J. B. Sewell, was born in Overton County, Tennessee, May 30, 1856. He was fifteen when the family came across the country in a prairie schooner to Montgomery County, Kansas, and in the meantime had attended public schools in Tennessee. While living on the farm southwest of Independence he continued his education in the district schools and in the fall of 1876 became a teacher. Preparatory to beginning his work as a teacher he had attended a private school conducted by Professor Morrison of Radical City. In his home district, Harrisonville, he taught a term, then attended the Normal Institute at Independence, and in the fall of 1877 took up his work in the Peebler District. The following spring he returned to the Harrisonville District and taught a term of three months, and then for three years was principal of schools at Elk City. After that he was again in the Harrisonville District, afterwards was principal for a year at Elk City, and then entered the mercantile business at Elk City. In 1898 he moved to Joplin, Missouri, where he was connected with merchandising and also as a prospector and miner for about two years. In 1901, after coming back to Elk City, he secured leases for about 17,000 acres of land in behalf of the Elk City Gas and Oil Company....

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Shaler W. Eldridge

Shaler W. Eldridge, one of the leading free-state men of Lawrence and therefore of the Territory of Kansas, was a native of Massachusetts, born at West Springfield, August 29, 1816. The twelve years previous to coming to Kansas, he spent as a leading railroad contractor of New England. Arriving in Kansas City, Missouri, January 3, 1855, he purchased the American House from Samuel C. Pomeroy, who had previously obtained it from the Emigrant Aid Society. It is needless to say that it was headquarters for the free-state men, and that it harbored Governor Reeder in his escape from Kansas. In the early part of 1856 Colonel Eldridge leased the Free-State Hotel at Lawrence, which was burned by the pro-slavery people under Sheriff Jones. He attended the convention at Philadelphia which nominated Fremont, and was also a member of the Buffalo convention of July 9, 1856. It was doubtless his influence which mainly induced Secretary Stanton to issue the proclamation calling the first Free State Legislature to submit the Loccompton constitution to the people. In 1857 he and his brothers erected the Eldridge House at Lawrence, which was destroyed a second time by Quantrill, August 21, 1863. He enlisted in a company of the Second Kansas Regiment, was made Lieutenant and in 1863 appointed...

Read More

Biography of John Conover, Col.

Of the individuals whose lives have influenced, developed, stabilised and broadened the civic and commercial resources of the State of Kansas, one of the most conspicuous was that of the late Col. John Conover. Coming to Kansas in 1857 and locating in Leavenworth, he was one of the pioneer merchants of that city. Going from Kansas at the outbreak of the war into the service of the Union army, he made a brilliant record as a soldier and officer, and that record is one of the many reasons why Kansas people should have a grateful memory of his life. Following the war there came ten years more of successful participation in the business affairs of Leavenworth, at the end of which time he identified himself with Kansas City, Missouri, and there occurred the culminating achievements of his business career, resulting in the founding and development of the Richards & Conover Hardware Company, the largest wholesale house in that line west of St. Louis. He died January 8, 1914. Before proceeding to the details of his career there should be quoted the summary of his experience which was happily phrased in the editorial columns of the Kansas City Star: “Colonel John Conover was a typical pioneer of the sort that had conquered the wilderness and made this western country great. A boy whose endowment lacked the glittering non-essentials of wealth...

Read More

Search


It takes a village to grow a family tree!
Genealogy Update - Keeping you up-to-date!
101 Best Websites 2016

Pin It on Pinterest