Location: Leavenworth Kansas

Biography of Fred A. Sowers

A career marked by specially varied activities had been that of this venerable and honored citizen of Wichita. Mr. Sowers is consistently to be designated as one of the veteran members of the Kansas bar, as a pioneer newspaper man of this commonwealth and as one of the oldest citizens of Wichita in point of continuous residence. As a man of affairs his productive sctivities have been always benignant and though he is near the age of four score years he is still found vigorously concerned with business affairs, as one of the representative citizens of Wichita. He served as a soldier of the Union in the Civil war and in all of the relations of life his loyalty and integrity of purpose have been dominating characterlstics. Such are the sterling pioneers to whom special recognition should be given in this publication. Fred A. Sowers was born at Canton, the judicial center of Stark County, Ohio, on the 18th of August, 1839, and his parents were numbered among the honored pioneers of the historic old Buckeye State. He continued his studies in the public schools of his native city until he had completed a high school course. At Canton he thereafter studied law under the preceptorship of the representive firm of Dunbar & McSweeney, and he was well fortified in the science of jurisprudence at the time when he...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Albert G. Patrick

Albert G. Patrick, of Jefferson and Calhoun counties, Kansas, was one of the free-state leaders and, although he finally died full of years and honor, had a most narrow escape from death in the most exciting period of the border troubles. He was an Indiana native, born at Salem, Washington County, in 1824, and a settler at Leavenworth, February 18, 1856. He wrote an account of the robbery and stuffing of the ballot box in the Currler-Beck contest for a seat in the Council, which was published in an Indiana paper and aroused the men of the town. In the summer of 1856 he was taken prisoner by his enemies and delivered to Captain Miller, who took him to Lecompton. There he was court-martialed and ordered to be shot as a spy; was taken out to an open prairie and placed before twelve picked markamen. Realizing his extremity, he tried the virtue of the Masonie sign of distress; it was successful, and two days later he was delivered to Governor Woodson, at Lecompton, where he was placed under guard with five or six other political prisouers. Finally he was set at liberty and proceeded to Lawrence. He joined Captain Wright’s Stranger Creek Company and participated in the Hickory Point engagement; with others, he was eaptured by United States troops and sent to Lecompton, where he was held by Governor...

Read More

Slave Narrative of Harriet Ann Daves

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Harriet Ann Daves Location: 601 E. Cabarrus Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: June 6, 1856 My full name is Harriet Ann Daves, I like to be called Harriet Ann. If my mother called me when she was living, I didn’t want to answer her unless she called me Harriet Ann. I was born June 6, 1856. Milton Waddell, my mother’s marster was my father, and he never denied me to anybody. My mother was a slave but she was white. I do not know who my mother’s father was. My mother was Mary Collins. She said that her father was an Indian. My mother’s mother was Mary Jane Collins, and she was white–maybe part Indian. My grandfather was old man William D. Waddell, a white man. I was born in Virginia near Orange Courthouse. The Waddells moved to Lexington, Missouri, after I was born. I guess some of the family would not like it if they knew I was telling this. We had good food and a nice place to live. I was nothing but a child, but I know, and remember that I was treated kindly. I remember the surrender very well. When the surrender came my grandfather came to mother and told her: ‘Well, you are as free as I am.’ That was William D. Waddell. He was one...

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

Biographical Sketch of Samuel D. Lecompte

Samuel D. Lecompte, first chief justice of the Territory of Kansas and afterward prominent on the bench of Leavenworth County, and a representative in both houses of the Legislature, was born in Dorchester County, Maryland, December 13, 1814. After graduating from Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, he studied law in Maryland and, upon being admitted to the bar, began practice in Carroll County, that state. He had served one term in the Maryland Legislature and become quite prominent politically, when he moved to Baltimore in 1854. In October, 1854, President Pierce appointed Mr. Lecompte chief justice of the Territory of Kansas, which position he held until March 9, 1859. Upon retiring from the bench he located in Leavenworth and opened a law office. At the close of the Civil war he renounced his democratic beliefs and became a republican. Judge Lecompte served four years as probate judge of Leavenworth County; represented the county in the State Legislatures of 1867-68, and on April 15, 1874, was elected chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee of the First District. In 1887 he went to Kansas City to live with his son and died there on April 24,...

Read More

Biography of Matthew Weightman, Jr.

In the way of public service Mr. Weightman is best known for his work as treasurer of Shawnee County, an office he filled two terms and from which be retired quite recently. He had been a resident of Topeka for over forty years, is a native of Kansas, and represents an old and substantial family of the state. His father, after whom he was named, came to Kansas in 1855 during territorial days. Matthew Weightman, Sr., was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, came to America a young man, and for a time was in newspaper work associated with G. W. Wilder at Leavenworth. Mr. Wilder, as will be recalled, was at one time state auditor of Kansas. At Leavenworth Mr. Weightman, Sr., married Anna Wallace. Her father, Doctor Wallace, was a pioneer physician of Leavenworth. The senior Mr. Weightman died in 1894. He was the father of three children. Matthew Weightman, Jr., was born at Leavenworth May 13, 1868, and at the age of five yeara was brought to Topeka by his parents. Since 1873 his home had been in that city. He acquired his early education in the public schools at Topeka, also attended Washburn College, and in 1889 he completed the pharmacy course in the University of Michigan. Returning to Topeka, he was for twenty-four consecutive years engaged in the drug business, and his store was one of the landmarks...

Read More

Biography of George Plumb, Hon.

Hon. George Plumb is one of Emporia’s honored pioneers. He is a son of David Plumb, and is a brother of the late Senator Preston B. Plumb, who for years was one of the most striking figures not only in Kansas life but in national affairs. Mr. William E. Connelley, the anthor and editor of this history of Kansas, is the offlcial biographer of the late Senator Plumb, and the reader is referred to other pages for the account of his cazeer and of the family relationship. While he had never gained the fame that fell to the lot of his distinguished brother, George Plumb had himself had a very interesting and active career. He was also one of the pioneers of Kansas and had taken a prominent part in its official affairs. He is now serving as finance commissioner of the City of Emporia. He was born in Delaware County, Ohio, December 15, 1843, and came to Kansas in the spring of 1857 with his parents when hs was fourteen years of age. He lived in the first house or shanty that was built in Emporia. As a boy he carried the chain in making the first survey of the townsite. For two months he was a student in the first prairie school of Emporia. The teacher was a private tutor and there were nine scholars altogether. He...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Marcus J. Parrott

Marcus J. Parrott, the second delegate to Congress from Kansas Territory, was born at Hamburg, South Carolina, October 27, 1828. He received both a classical and a legal education and served two terms in the Ohio Legislature (having located for practice at Dayton) previous to becoming a resident of Leavenworth in 1855. At the first session of the Territorial Supreme Court, which commenced in July of that year, he was appointed reporter of the decisions, and in October was elected a delegate to the Topeka Constitutional Convention. He acted as a lawyer of the defense in the trial of Governor Robinson and other free-state prisoners at Lecompton, in September, 1856, and at the Topeka Convention of July, 1857, was nominated for Congress, which selection was seconded at the Grasshopper Falls Convention of the following month. He was elected in November and was re-elected on the republican ticket in November, 1859. His entire congressional service extended from. December, 1857, to March, 1861. In that year Mr. Parrott failed of nomination to the United States Senate; was defeated for Congress in 1862, as well as in 1874. During the later years of his life he successfully operated his farm near Leavenworth City. His health failing, he spent some months at Dayton, Ohio, where a brother resided, and died there October 4,...

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

Biography of Charles R. Jennison, Dr.

Dr. Charles R. Jennison, of Leavenworth, a brigadier general during the Civil war and afterward a leader in the public affairs of the state, was born in Jefferson County, New York, June 6, 1834. When he was twelve years old he moved with his parents to Wisconsin, and at the age of nineteen years he began to study medicine. After completing his medical course he practiced for a short time in Wisconsin and then came to Kansas, settling at Osawatomie in 1857. Within a short time he moved to Mound City, where he remained for three years, and then went to Leavenworth. Doctor Jennison was one of John Brown’s stanch supporters. Governor Robinson commissioned him captain of the Mound City Guards on February 19, 1861, and on September 4th he was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, which became known as “Jennison’s Jayhawkers,” being assigned to the command of the western border of Missouri with headquarters at Kansas City. He determined to clear the border of guerrillas, and his a ccess in that military undertaking was such that General Hunter appointed him acting brigadier general, and he was placed in command of “all the troops in Kansas west of and on the Neosho.” At the time of the Lawrence massacre Governor Carney called upon Jennison to raise a regiment, of which he was made colonel on October...

Read More

Biography of A. Beauchamp

A. Beauchamp. More than thirty years ago A. Beauchamp entered the service of the Chicago, Burlington & Quiney Railway at Atchison as car clerk, and had been continnously with that road, being now one of the veteran employees, and by successive promotions now handles the responsibilities of local agent for the company at Atchison. Mr. Beauchamp is a native of Kansas, and was born in Doniphan County September 15, 1856. That date indicates the pioncer residence of the family in this state. He was born four years before Kansas became a state. It was in the border epoch of Kansas history and his father, Edward A. Beanchamp, was one of the early settlers and homesteaders of Doniphan County. The Boauchamp family originated in France, and it was Mr. Beauchamp’s great-grandfather who came to this country about the time of the Revolution. The family from France had gone to England and thence to the United States. They afterwards located in Kentucky. Edward A. Beauchamp was born in Kentucky in 1813. He grew up in his native state, as a young man went to Illinois, where he married, thence removed to Missouri, and in the spring of 1856 arrived in Kansas. He located a few miles west of the Missouri River in Doniphan County and preempted a claim of 160 acres, He battled sturdily with the virgin soil in an effort...

Read More

Biography of August Bondi

August Bondi was a splendid figure in the annals of Kansas for fully half a century, and had been fitly described as soldier and patriot and one of the immortal followers of John Brown. From the city of culture and of old world civilization, Vienna, Austria, it is a far cry to the plains of Kansas where were performed those deeds which will ring down through history. August Bondi was born at Vienna July 21, 1833, a son of Hart Emanuel and Martha (Frankl) Bondi, who were also natives of Vienna. His father was a Jewish manufacturer of cotton goods. August Bondi was educated at the Catholic College of the Order of Piarists. He also had a private tutor. At the age of ten he was admitted to an institution of normal grade, and in 1847 began the study of the English language. When fourteen he became a member of the Academic League and fought under Kossuth during the Hungarian war for liberty. He had just been admitted to the University of Vienna, but his participation in the war caused him to be exiled. On September 6, 1848, he started for the United States with his parents, and they landed at New Orleans on the 10th of November. From there a boat brought them up the Mississippi to St. Louis, where he landed November 23. After a few months...

Read More

Biography of John Wilson Lauk, M. D.

John Wilson Lauck, M. D. Since 1903 Doctor Lauck had been engaged in his work as a physician and surgeon at Olsburg in Pottawatomie County. During that time Doctor Lauck had become a citizen of prominence in that community. He had done something toward the development of modern farming in that locality and is also a factor in the commercial enterprise of the village. Doctor Lauck is a native of Kansas, having been born in the City of Atchison October 28, 1875. He is of Scotch ancestry and his forefathers came from that country to Maryland in early days. His father, the late I. S. Lauck, was for many years one of the trusted officials of the Santa Fe Railway Company at Topeka. I. S. Lauck was born at Washington, D. C., in 1845. He was reared and married in his native city and in 1872 came to Kansas, locating at Atchison, where he was cashier of a bank for a time, but soon removed to Topeka and for over thirty years was anditor of the Santa Fe Bailway Company. His residence all that time was in Topeka, but he died in Chicago in 1903, while on a pleasure trip to his native City of Washington. Politically he was a democrat. I. S. Lauck married Amanda Lyons, who was born in Virginia March 15, 1847, and is living at...

Read More

Biography of John Thomas Bartley

John Thomas Bartley has spent many years in Kansas and the Southwestern country and his business had been chiefly ranching on a large scale, either as manager for others or for himself. He now looks after a large farm at Fostoria in Pottawatomie County and had been a fine factor in the founding and upbuilding of that comparatively new village of Kansas. The home of the Bartleys for several generations had been Monroe County, Kentucky, where John Thomas was born March 7, 1865. His great-grandfather, Thomas Bartley, was born in Ireland in 1760. He came to this country a young, unmarried man and was one of the pioneers of Monroe County, Kentucky, where he died about 1842. He married Maggie Sumner, who was born in Kentucky in 1763, a date which identifies her family with the early era in the West, her father having been a contemporary of Daniel Boone. She died in Monroe County, Kentucky, in 1849. William Bartley, grandfather of John Thomas, was born in Monroe County, Kentucky, and spent his life there as a farmer. He married Martha Simpson, also a native of Monroe County, where she died. A record of their children is as follows: James, a farmer who died in Monroe County; Simpson, a farmer who spent his life in Monroe County; Thomas, who is still living in that county, a retired farmer; William,...

Read More

Biography of William Stout

William Stout, president of the Bank of McLouth, is an Englishman, with a family record going back for many generations in the County of Lincoln. However, Mr. Stout had been identified with Kansas for over forty-five years, and after succeeding as a farmer he entered banking at McLouth and had been actively identified with the bank of that city for many years. Mr. Stout was born in the County of Lincoln, England, May 30, 1836, and can now contemplate life and affairs from the height of four score years. His father, Thomas Stout, was born in Lincoln County. England, in 1803, and died at Donington in the same county in 1855. His life’s efforts were bestowed upon agriculture. He was a member and local preacher of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. The maiden name of his wife was Mary Tunnard, who was born in Lincoln County the same year and died there also in the same year as her husband. Thomas Stout had been previously married to Miss Snowdall, but none of the children of that union are still living. By his second wife there were the following children: Mary A., who lives at Douington, England, widow of Joseph Headland, who was a farmer; Jacob, living retired in Leiceester, England; William; Sarah, who died at Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, wife of Charles Thompson, a retired merchant at Melton Mowbray; Thomas,...

Read More


Free Genealogy Archives

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

Pin It on Pinterest